During arthritis awareness month in May, pharma giant Amgen announced a partnership with pop star and entrepreneur Lance Bass to promote awareness of one common variety of the ailment, psoriatic arthritis, by asking people with symptoms to do a “Double Take.”
Psoriatic arthritis is a complication of the skin condition psoriasis. It can develop in about 30% of patients diagnosed with psoriasis, affecting about one million Americans and 38 million people worldwide, Amgen said. A chronic, inflammatory form of arthritis, psoriatic arthritis causes swelling stiffness and pain around the joints.
“Two distinct physical symptoms of psoriatic arthritis are dactylitis (inflammation of an entire digit) and enthesitis (inflammation at sites where tendons or ligaments insert into bone),” Amgen said. “Patients usually also experience red patches of skin topped with silvery scales, or skin lesions.”
Bass, who rose to fame with the band NSYNC, was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis in his 30s, Bass was “surprised and scared” by the affliction, and through the Double Take campaign, which includes his own “Double Take” dance, Bass encourages people with symptoms to get checked out.
Amgen is the maker of Otezla® (apremilast), a prescription medicine for the treatment of psoriatic arthritis.
Arthritis Awareness Month
Arthritis Awareness Month in May is also a time to bring attention to all forms of arthritis, which together impact 53 million adults and 300,000 infants, children and teens in the United States, where it is the number one cause of disability, according to the Arthritis Foundation.
Biotechnology offers a range of solutions for the various types of arthritis. For instance rheumatoid arthritis can be treated disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs, which can slow the progress of the disease, as well as pain killers, non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs and steroids, according to the UK’s National Health Service.
The Centers for Disease Control also promotes physical activity programs for the condition.