Psoriasis digital landscape for patients in Japan offers competent patient engagement, says GlobalData

In Japan, the plaque psoriasis (PsO) treatment landscape is highly competitive with the availability of conventional topical therapies, as well as biologics including anti-TNF, anti-IL-17, anti-IL-23 inhibitors, and a small molecule PDE4 inhibitor. To differentiate within this crowded market, companies offering novel therapies are using branded and unbranded channels to enhance patient engagement throughout all stages of the patient journey, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

According to GlobalData’s Epidemiology and Market Size Database, the value of the plaque psoriasis market in Japan is estimated to be US$627.23m, accounting for 4.4% of the total sales in the 7major markets (MM)* in 2020, expected to rise to US$640.5m by 2027 at a CAGR of 1.4% accounting for 3.3% of total sales in the 7MM*.

In Japan, patients who develop severe plaque psoriasis and fail to respond to first line therapies such as cyclosporine and etretinate are prescribed biologic therapies including Remicade, Humira, Stelara, Cosentyx, and Taltz. Alternatively, a small molecule drug such as the orally-formulated Otezla is available. In Japan, the most commonly prescribed biologic is Stelara, followed by Cosentyx and Humira.

Venkat Kartheek Vale, Pharma Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “PsO is the second- largest market in the inflammatory therapy area second to rheumatoid arthritis (RA) offering biologics that are approved across rheumatologic indications including RA,  psoriatic arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis, gastrointestinal indications including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, and more. Despite Japan occupying a smaller share in global sales for PsO, the landscape is increasingly competitive, closely following the US and Germany as the third-largest market among the 7MM* in the last three years.”

GlobalData’s ‘Digital Marketing Intelligence’ (DMI) identified branded websites with approved products in PsO across Japan – AbbVie’s Humira and Skyrizi, Celgene’s Otezla, Janssen’s Remicade, Stelara, and Tremfya, Kyowa Hakko Kirin ‘s Lumicef, Lilly’s Taltz, Novartis’ Cosentyx, and UCB’s Cimzia.

An analysis of the traffic over the last 18 months (November 2019 – July 2019 vs. August 2019 – April 2020) revealed a consistent level of website traffic to AbbVie’s, Celgene’s, and Novartis’ Among the newly approved therapies, Janssen’s has received consistent traffic and stands better compared to AbbVie’s while the multi-condition website from UCB’s,, has achieved moderate and consistent traffic.

Players in the PsO market are focusing on expanding their digital presence to promote disease awareness, enhance patient engagement, and improve doctor-patient relationships and communications. Players in the space are increasingly looking towards digital channels and online platforms to enhance awareness of PsO, a factor influenced by the changing demographics of PsO-patients who are a more digitally-savvy population.

GlobalData’s DMI identified unbranded websites from the following companies that promote disease awareness – Novartis’, Janssen’s, Lilly’s, Celgene’s, and AbbVie’s Interestingly, these sites generally received consistently high traffic compared to counterpart branded websites across the last 18 months.

Vale concludes: “Brand penetration becomes difficult in an extremely competitive market such as PsO, where emerging novel therapies and companies entering the space are keen to explore every opportunity available to strengthen their digital channels and sustain or grow their positions in the market. The combined use of branded and unbranded channels for effective patient engagement is a successful tactic for leading companies like Janssen and Novartis, and a beneficial strategy for other players to follow when designing digital strategies to target the correct populations of patients and offer appropriate support features”.

*7MM: The US, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the UK, and Japan.

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