Janssen Develops Programs to Support Health Equity in Psoriatic Disease

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The disparities compelled them to launch Determi-Nation, which utilizes healthcare providers, advocates, and patients within the psoriatic disease community to co-create solutions that address the observed inequities.

In an interview with HCPLive Rheumatology, Soumya Chakravarty, MD, PhD, FACP, FACR, Senior Director, Strategic Lead, Janssen Rheumatology, and Daphne Chan, PhD, Head of Dermatology Medical Affairs, Janssen, discussed Janssen’s programs designed to reduce health inequity in patients living with psoriatic disease.

“At Janssen, we have always been committed to advancing care for the millions of patients in the US living with immune-mediated diseases,” stated Chakravarty. “During our interactions with patients, we recognized significant unmet needs and challenges faced by people of color with psoriatic disease. These individuals experienced delayed diagnosis, misdiagnosis, and limited access to necessary testing, treatment, and care.”

Acknowledging these disparities compelled them to launch the Determi-Nation program, which is 1 of their 3 key initiatives. The program involves healthcare providers, advocates, and patients within the psoriatic disease community. Together, they aim to co-create solutions that address the observed inequities.

Investigators developed 2 potential solutions collaboratively with the community. The first is a patient navigation program and the second is a concept called "Beyond the Textbook," which provides healthcare providers with culturally inclusive resources to navigate conversations around psoriatic disease in patients of color. They discovered a lack of information and representation regarding simple images of psoriatic disease, including plaques and psoriatic arthritis in patients of color.

“To expand on our commitment to health equity, we have identified key issues related to clinical research and underrepresentation in the medical workforce,” Chan explained. “In clinical research, it has been evident that people of White descent constitute the majority of participants, while people of color are significantly underrepresented across various therapeutic areas, including dermatology.”

According to Chan, over the past decade, more than 86% of psoriasis trials have predominantly enrolled White participants. While there is no scientific basis to assume different responses to treatments based on race, Chan believes it to be essential to generate evidence that confirms or challenges these assumptions. Janssen is conducting the VISIBLE trial to evaluate people of color with psoriasis to gain a deeper understanding of their specific healthcare needs

Additionally, underrepresentation in the medical workforce poses challenges in providing culturally responsive care. To address this, Janssen has collaborated with the American Academy of Dermatology and Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health to launch the Pathways Inclusivity in Dermatology Initiative. This initiative aims to increase the representation of minority physicians in the medical workforce by 50% within 5 years through talent development, training, and skills strengthening programs.

This transcript was edited for clarity.