Psoriatic Arthritis: Current Understandings

Doctors, as far back as the mid-19th century, noticed the connections between psoriasis and arthritis that occurred in some of their patients. However, this condition of “psoriatic arthritis” did not receive a clinical definition until the 1960s, when it was distinguished from rheumatoid arthritis.

Part of the difficulty with understanding psoriatic arthritis relates to a lack of specific biologic tests to diagnose this disease. Although it is known that psoriatic arthritis develops in about 5% of those with psoriasis, with the skin condition generally appearing before joint involvement.

Management of psoriatic arthritis often starts with NSAIDs and disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), including methotrexate, sulfasalazine, cyclosporine, leflunomide, and biologic agents.

More recently, new and more effective biologics and small-molecular medications are becoming available which target specific cytokines and signaling pathways involved in this disease. This has meant a slowing of disease progression and improved quality of life for more patients than ever before. However, there remain at least 40% of patients who only have a partial response to current medications or no response at all.

This all serves to highlight that while much progress has been made with psoriatic arthritis, there is still a long way yet to go. Clinical trials are currently finding promising results with the medications tofacitinib, ixekizumab, and guselkumab. Hopefully more (and more effective) options will be available to psoriatic arthritis patients in the near future.

BioPlus Specialty Pharmacy has a team of pharmacists, patient care coordinators, and a financial assistance department who are all ready to help you with your doctor’s treatment plan. To access more helpful information about the chronic condition of psoriatic arthritis, check out BioPlus Health.


Veale DJ, Fearon U. The pathogenesis of psoriatic arthritis. Lancet June 2, 2018 DOI:

Psoriatic arthritis: classification and holistic management. Lancet June 2, 2018 DOI: