News
07 September 2022
Europe
Allergy
INFORM, - Research Projects

Milan, Italy – 7 September 2022. Following one year of in-depth discussions around the reality of Atopic Dermatitis/Eczema (AD/E), patients and doctors from across Europe launch today their consensus on the struggle of AD/E patients in Europe. ‘The Burden of Atopic Eczema / Dermatitis - European Consensus Report 2022’, published by the European Federation of Allergy and Airways Diseases Patients’ Associations (EFA), provides guidance and impetus to advance atopic eczema care (1).

Atopic dermatitis/eczema (AD/E) is considered the most common inflammatory skin disease, affecting up to 20% of children and adolescents worldwide (2). In Europe, its prevalence has steadily increased over the last four decades (2).

Often dismissed as a ‘just a skin condition’, atopic eczema heavily impacts patients’ physical and mental wellbeing, social life, and finances. Despite advances in how the disease is understood and managed, innovations and access to services and newer effective therapy remain crucial for patients. The seriousness of AD/E and surrounding stigma is poorly understood by many, limiting progress in addressing quality-of-life issues and leaving patients and families to carry the burden by themselves. What’s more, this gap in consensus is felt unequally by patients across Europe.

Consensus Committee Co-Chair and patient representative, Joana Camilo, declares: “It is high time to change the precarious situation of atopic dermatitis/eczema patients. The European consensus reached on the burden of atopic eczema is a fundamental call to recognize AD/E as a complex chronic disease for which patients require long-term treatment and multidisciplinary care to cope with it. I hope this broad agreement in the community will help us to receive the care and attention we need for both patients and caregivers”.

The launch of the European Consensus Report 2022 highlights the assessment of the atopic eczema community around the three areas that affect patients the most:

  • The physical and emotional burden of AD/E
  • The diagnosis and care burden of AD/E
  • The financial and economic burden of AD/E

EFA and its national member associations have transformed the findings of the Consensus Committee of AD/E into a Call-to-Action addressing European and national decision-making bodies. Some of these recommendations include:

  • Reinforce the role for specialised nurses, psychologists, pharmacists and nutritionists in atopic eczema care
  • Ensure the respect of the newest clinical guidelines, establishing an agile system of referral for AD/E patients
  • Adopt a new clinical approach, where AD/E diagnosis is not static but adapts based on the developing condition of the patient and latest scientific evidence

Consensus Committee Co-Chair and healthcare professional representative, Andreas Wollenberg, declares: “The suffering of many AD/E patients today is alarming. This European Consensus should act as a wakeup call for health authorities to introduce structural changes in the healthcare systems to fully address AD/E and reduce the burden on patients”.

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Notes to editors:

  • The Burden of Atopic Eczema / Dermatitis - European Consensus Report 2022, European Federation of Allergy and Airways Diseases Patients’ Associations (EFA), September 2022: www.efanet.org/images/2022/EFA_Burden_of_Atopic_Eczema.pdf
  • Kowalska-Olędzka E, Czarnecka M, Baran A. Epidemiology of atopic dermatitis in Europe. J Drug Assess. 2019;8(1):126–8.

Joana Camilo is Executive Director of Creating Health – Research & Innovation Funding & Founding President of the Atopic Dermatitis Association Portugal (ADERMAP).

Andreas Wollenberg is Professor, Dept. of Dermatology, Ludwig-Maximilian University, Munich and Head of Conservative and Pediatric Department of Dermatology, Free University, Brussels, Belgium. 

The Atopic Eczema Consensus Report: It emanates from a project ran by EFA in 2021-2022 aiming at informing healthcare policymakers and stakeholders on current unmet needs in the care of AD/E in Europe.

The report results from the discussions and agreements of a panel of 15 leading European AD/E healthcare professionals and expert patients representing several sectors and European countries who integrated the Consensus Committee. Their discussions were facilitated by EFA.

 

Acknowledgements: The EFA’s Atopic Eczema Consensus Europe Project, meeting and consensus report have been funded with unrestricted grants from EFA’s Sustainable Funding Partners AbbVie, LEO Pharma, and Sanofi/Regeneron.

The European Federation of Allergy and Airways Diseases Patients’ Associations (EFA) is a network of 46 allergy, asthma and COPD patients’ organisations in 26 European countries and it works for European patients with allergy, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) to live uncompromised lives, have the right and access to the best quality care and a safe environment.

Join us for World Atopic Eczema Day on September 14 2022: https://efanet.org/campaigns/world-atopic-eczema-day/

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