May 1

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IN THIS ISSUE / May 1, 2019


FDA approves two new psoriasis treatments
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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved risankizumab-rzaa (Skyrizi), an injectable drug for the treatment of moderate to severe plaque psoriasis in adults. Clinical trials showed that among people treated with risankizumab every 12 weeks (four doses per year after two initial doses), 75% achieved 90% skin clearance at 16 weeks and maintained this response at one year. The drug’s manufacturer AbbVie said it expects the drug to be available in the United States in early May. Risankizumab was approved in Canada and Japan earlier this year. 

The FDA has also approved a lotion containing halobetasol propionate 0.01% and tazarotene 0.045% (Duobrii) for the treatment of plaque psoriasis. The lotion, indicated for adults, is the first topical treatment for plaque psoriasis to combine halobetasol propionate and tazarotene. The drug’s safety was established in a long-term study of up to 24 weeks of continuous use and up to 52-weeks of use as needed. The drug’s manufacturer Ortho Dermatologics expects the lotion to be available June 2019.

Learn about how psoriasis experts worldwide embrace treat-to-target in Dermatology World.

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DW Insights and Inquiries: When assessing morbilliform eruptions think about morbilli (measles)!

heymann-warren-95px.jpgI’m confident you’ve seen the headlines about measles (rubeola, morbillii):

“Measles Outbreak: The Spread in New York” (New York Times, March 28, 2019)

“Fourth Measles Case Reported in Maryland Outbreak” (Washington Post, April 19, 2019)

“Measles Outbreak Tests Health Workers Already Stretched Thin by Paradise Fire” (Los Angeles Times, April 21, 2019)

Paules et al state: “According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 555 cases of measles in 20 states had measles already been confirmed from January 1 through April 11, 2019. The increase in measles cases in the United States mirrors patterns elsewhere: several other countries that had eliminated measles are now seeing resurgences.” 

Prior to the introduction of the measles vaccine in 1963, measles killed more than 2.5 million people annually. In 2016, the estimated number of deaths from measles fell to 89,780, the first time in history that annual deaths had fallen below 100,000. In 2017 it had increased to 110,000 and in 2018, measles caused an estimated 136,000 deaths, according to WHO’s preliminary figures. Keep reading!


Feedback requested: Draft psoriasis guidelines for pediatric patients

The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) is requesting feedback from AAD members about its “Joint AAD-NPF guidelines of care for the management and treatment of psoriasis in pediatric patients.” AAD members are encouraged to provide comments on the draft guidelines before the comment period closes May 3. Review the draft guidelines and submit your comments.

Want to learn more about the new psoriasis guidelines from Alan Menter, MD, co-chair of the Academy’s Psoriasis Guidelines Work Group and founding president of the International Psoriasis Council? Listen to a free episode of Dialogues in Dermatology in which Dr. Menter discusses the four additional sets of psoriasis guidelines expected to be released over the next year as well as the vast changes that have taken place in psoriasis research since the previous guidelines were released more than a decade ago. Listen to the podcast!

Guidelines serve as decision-making and educational aids for clinical practice to support and improve quality dermatologic care, and are used as the framework for quality measurement, reimbursement decisions, advocacy efforts, public messaging, and the identification of research gaps. When finalized, these evidence-based guidelines will be submitted for publication in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology and will be considered current for five years from the date of publication. 

Read more about how collaboration and diverse expertise strengthen clinical practice guidelines in Dermatology World.


3 ways the Academy is promoting skin cancer prevention this month (and how members can help) 

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, and all month long the AAD is asking Americans “Do You Use Protection?” and encouraging the public to “practice safe sun.” Use the Academy’s new SPOT Skin Cancer™ resources to help educate your patients and community about how to protect their skin and prevent skin cancer. Access Academy resources.


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CMS to allow insurers to adopt copay accumulators

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has finalized a rule that would allow health insurers to implement copay accumulator programs, reports ModernHealthcare. These programs prevent drug manufacturer coupons from applying to a patient’s out-of-pocket limits in situations where a generic drug is available. According to CMS, the rule would encourage patients to use generic drugs and lower drug spending. The copay accumulator programs would apply to individual market, small-group, large-group, and self-insured group health plans starting in 2020. Learn more about how copay accumulator programs have escalated the battle between insurers and drug makers in Dermatology World.

In March, Virginia and West Virginia became the first states to ban such programs on the individual market with another eight states considering passing similar legislation, which patient advocates argue limits access to medication.

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Preliminary MIPS performance data now available

The data submission period for the 2018 MIPS reporting year closed April 2. If you submitted data through the Quality Payment Program website, you are now able to review your preliminary performance feedback data. You can access your preliminary and final feedback with your HCQIS Access Roles and Profile (HARP) credentials. Your final score and feedback will be available in July 2019. 

If you have questions about your preliminary 2018 MIPS performance data, please contact the Quality Payment Program via email (QPP@cms.hhs.gov) or phone (1-866-288-8292/TTY: 1-877-715-6222).

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Members of Congress take on sunscreen use

Rep. David Joyce (R-Ohio) ― along with Reps. Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.), John Joyce, MD, (R-Pa.), Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.), Rosa L. DeLauro (D-Conn.), Julia Brownley (D-Calif.), Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.), Bradley Scott Schneider (D-Ill.), Salud Carbajal (D-Calif.), Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.), and Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.) ― has introduced a resolution (H. Res. 323) in the House of Representatives that encourages state, local, and community efforts to grant access to sunscreens in schools and expand access to sun safety in camps and other child care centers. Additionally, the resolution supports initiatives that encourage health care providers to educate parents and children about sun-safe behaviors.

Dermatologists remain steadfast in encouraging patients to engage in sun-safe behaviors. Read more about the specialty's fight against indoor tanning in Dermatology World.

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NIH to honor dermatologist Stephen I. Katz, MD, PhD, on May 3

The National Institutes of Health is celebrating the life of dermatologist Stephen I. Katz, MD, PhD, who served as director of the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Diseases (NIAMS) from 1995 until his death in December. The celebration will take place May 3 from 1:30 to 3 PM on the NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland. Those who wish to attend in person should RSVP. Those who cannot attend but wish to view the event can watch via NIH videocast. The invitation notes, “This special event will commemorate Dr. Katz’s achievements as an exemplary biomedical researcher, steadfast leader, and dedicated public servant. The program will include music and remarks by family members, colleagues, and trainees.”

Dr. Katz was beloved in dermatology, as Dermatology World Physician Editor Kathryn Schwarzenberger, MD, wrote following his passing. Read her remembrance.

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2020 committee appointment application now open

Every year, hundreds of dermatologists serve the Academy through its organizational governance structure and through other service opportunities. The Appointment Selection Committee, chaired by Bruce H. Thiers, MD, has begun accepting applications to fill 2020 open appointments. Applications must be submitted by June 30, 2019. Members who are selected to serve will be contacted in the winter. Letters of recommendation are highly suggested but not required. 

Access the 2020 online appointment application at www.aad.org/applications/cctf. Learn more about the specific committees and task forces, committee member responsibilities, and other opportunities in the Governance Handbook.