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LEO Pharma convene dermatology experts in global initiative on skin health

Ballerup, January 5, 2022 - Dermatology experts including Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs), Patient Groups and industry gather in new initiative calling for actions to elevate skin diseases on the public health agenda.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), skin diseases are the third most prevalent cause of illness and one of the top ten causes of disability worldwide. But globally, the burden of skin diseases is often overlooked with tremendous effect on billions of people’s lives around the world.

LEO Pharma, in partnership with over 30 dermatology experts and 3 global patient organizations from more than 20 countries, now gather in a global initiative to elevate skin diseases on the public health agenda. In an open letter, they advocate for skin diseases’ relevance in public health policy programming

The Open Letter states that diseases affecting the skin represent one of the most significant opportunities to improve health around the world – and one of the most widely overlooked with severe impact on patients and society. Diseases with skin manifestations can have tremendous impact on a person’s daily activities, mental and emotional health, and overall well-being. Many serious, life-threatening diseases have skin manifestations. This broad set of conditions, or “skin diseases,” cross all borders, age groups, genders, and demographics, impacting billions of people’s lives across the world. They demand coordinated, sustained responses that tap the best available knowledge, treatments, and care. The challenge is immense, costly, and urgent.

With this onset, the group calls for four specific actions:

  • Assess health systems’ capacity to effectively and efficiently address skin diseases
  • Educate primary care providers and enhance health system capacity to address skin diseases
  • Support and strengthen cross-specialty connections
  • Elevate dermatology on global and national health agendas

Commenting on the Open Letter, co-author Frida Dunger Johnsson, Executive Director IFPA, a global organization representing psoriasis patients globally, stated:

“We often underestimate the burden of diseases with visible skin symptoms. The psoriatic disease community welcomes this initiative. By writing this letter we insist on action to improve millions of lives worldwide. Thanks to this initiative, the community is coming together to speak up for people living with diseases affecting the skin. Together, we can achieve real progress.”

The initiative is a first of its kind in dermatology underlining how skin diseases have widely been overlooked and that there is need for action. And going forward LEO Pharma hopes that more dermatology experts, patient groups and other members of the dermatology community will join the initiative working to advancing the standards of care in medical dermatology.

See the full Open Letter including co-authors and signatories here:

About LEO Pharma


LEO Pharma helps people achieve healthy skin. The company is a leader in medical dermatology with a robust R&D pipeline, a wide range of therapies and a pioneering spirit. Founded in 1908 and majority owned by the LEO Foundation, LEO Pharma has devoted decades of research and development to advance the science of dermatology, setting new standards of care for people with skin conditions. LEO Pharma is headquartered in Denmark with a global team of 6,000 people, serving 93 million patients in 130 countries. In 2020, the company generated net sales of DKK 10.133 billion.



Henrik Heskjaer

Director, Global External Communications
Tel: +45 3140 6180