A misunderstood skin disease: Mapping the policy response to atopic dermatitis

October 04, 2018


October 04, 2018

Elizabeth Sukkar
Editor, The Economist Intelligence Unit

Elizabeth is Managing Editor and Global Healthcare Editorial Lead in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Thought Leadership team. She has been a journalist and editor for more than 15 years, covering healthcare policy, R&D and science for medical journals and UK newspapers, including the British Medical Journal and the Guardian. Before joining the EIU, she was the deputy news editor at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, where she ran the news and analysis desk, and was often called to comment about healthcare issues on BBC radio. She also managed a team of international journalists when she was the world editor of Informa’s Scrip Intelligence, a global publication on pharmaceutical and healthcare policy, where she won the Informa Journalist of Year award. Before moving into journalism, Elizabeth worked as a pharmacist in community, hospital and health authority settings.


Multidisciplinary care for atopic dermatitis can benefit patients of AD as they have multifactorial needs.

Atopic dermatitis (AD), also known as eczema or atopic eczema (AE), is a common chronic inflammatory non-communicable skin disease that often manifests itself in flares of dry, red and itchy skin. It is not a well-understood disease. Lifetime prevalence can vary widely across the globe, ranging from 9% to 32%. 

For those without direct experience, it can be challenging to understand the lengths to which cracked, itchy skin can overwhelm a person’s quality of life, as well as affect the lives of their family and caregivers.

This report will first examine the impact of AD on patients and its considerable social, financial and economic impacts. Then, we explore health strategies to address AD and the challenges patients often have in navigating their health systems. It will then look at the adoption of best practices, including integrated care, and the role patient groups in supporting patients. Finally, it will provide an outlook on the key issues for policymakers and actions they may take to improve AD care.


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