Anyone who has worked in pharma marketing in the immunology space knows – a savvy marketer takes a broad perspective on the immunology space because treatments, trends, and technologies, that start in one space will likely expand to others sooner than later. By understanding the dynamics happening in Psoriasis for example, marketers can better anticipate and prepare for shifts in the UC market, for example.

One space that has often served as ‘ground zero’ for emerging trends is in fact Psoriasis.

Could this crowded and ever-changing market give us a sense of how other immunological TAs may continue to evolve in the future? We think so.

Here are 3 trends S+R has seen in the psoriasis landscape, which we’re keeping an eye on and how adjacent immunology insights and marketing teams can create foresight and future-proof their brands.

1. Patient Agency Continues to Grow

Fewer and fewer people with psoriasis feel out of their depth when it comes to considering and selecting an advanced therapy. Sure, most still rely on their doctor to make recommendations and provide education on those options, but patients across global markets are less likely to simply defer to those recommendations the way they might have 5-10 years ago.

PsO, like all immune conditions, has a significant subjective component. No two people experience symptoms in the same way, which means that treatment goals are also highly personal. Where PsO differs from other, less developed, conditions is that patients aren’t afraid to let those goals be known, and to switch dermatologists if they think that their wants and needs aren’t being heard.

How to Leverage for Foresight: This underscores the importance of truly understanding patients’ treatment goals and trade-offs – and not as a monolith. By getting ahead, to define patient segments by their goals (not their clinical characteristics) pre-launch treatments will better identify their market space and target, and in-market treatments can refine messaging. Brands don’t have to be ‘the best’ for everyone but rather be clear eyed about who’s goals align best with their treatment profile.

2. Brand Loyalty is Fading

Along with a rise of patient agency, the proliferation of treatment options in psoriasis had led to a decrease in brand loyalty. Patients are becoming less and less afraid to switch therapies if they think something isn’t working for them, and more comfortable initiating switch conversations with their doctors.

This trend is particularly striking when compared to a treatment space like Ulcerative Colitis, or Crohn’s Disease, where limited options have led to patients staying on therapies that they admit provide sub-par results. ‘Good enough’ has become all these patients look for, but that’s not the case in psoriasis. Here efficacy expectations are rising. ‘Good enough’ is a relic of the past as patients seek ‘even better.’

Which is not to say that patients think their options are endless, or that they aren’t seeking stability when it comes to their treatment regimen, but it means the price of entry in any off these treatment spaces will continue to rise, not only in terms of overall efficacy, but also in terms of speed of onset and duration of response.

How to Leverage for Foresight: Developing insight into patient ‘tipping points’ – how much additional efficacy, convenience, etc. is needed to prompt a switch – will help in-line teams identify and size the most vulnerable patient groups to new treatments and create strategies to defend. Additionally, these insights can help shore up a brand’s value proposition in advance of new entrants by understanding what elements of the brand mitigate switching desire.

3. Biosimilars & Advanced Orals are Interrupting Old Paradigms

For years, biologics were the clear heavy hitters. Physician algorithms and patient journey insights pointed to a clear path through familiar options from topicals, to traditional orals and finally biologics. While advanced orals like JAK inhibitors entered the playing field, many came with black box warnings of serious side effects, including death, which turned a lot of patients, and physicians, away from the class as a whole.

But this new wave of branded advanced therapies promises something different. They might not be as hard hitting as JAKs or biologics, but they also don’t come with the same warnings, making them a far more attractive option for patients, and many physicians, across the board.

Pair that with biosimilar options coming to market and the path is no longer as clear. Cost may steer some patients to a biosimilar before branded advanced orals, or current biologic patients may see the evolved efficacy of advanced oral options and decide to move ‘backwards’ to those options for their preferred Road. In any case, what’s evident is the clear, linear path is no longer.

 How to Leverage for Foresight: To get ahead, marketers will need to have forward-looking and patient type specific understanding of physician’s algorithm. Understanding how physicians will navigate the ‘forks in the road’ – what considerations about the patient and the treatment they will weigh – will allow marketers to identify the leverage points to guide physicians more swiftly to their brand in their new, more complex algorithm.

The coming years promise to bring further acceleration of these and other trends across immunology. Marketers that stay attuned to leading indicators from adjacent spaces to anticipate change and develop future-forward insights will undoubtedly come out on top.

Interested in learning more about our history empowering immunology brands and how we uncover the future-forward insight that will help you get ahead? Reach out today at [email protected]

About Shapiro+Raj

Shapiro+Raj, the sixth-largest independent insights company in North America, generates Future-Forward Insights for Fortune 500 clients. Recognized as the top-5 most innovative research company, the #1 strategic insights consultancy, and the largest Nationally Certified Minority Business Enterprise, Shapiro+Raj operates from Chicago, New York, and Pune, India, serving global clients. For more information, contact Shapiro+Raj at (312) 965-2319 or visit