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Rosacea Research in Perspective of Idiopathic Diseases


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Updated original Rosacea Research Video in January 2021. Original video was done in Sepember 2020 without graphics. 


In order to really understand and put rosacea research in perspective it is important to understand where rosacea is in terms of total disease on this planet. Google Answers says, "According to the World Health Organization, there are still no effective treatments available for around three quarters of the 30,000 diseases known today worldwide." [1] “For two thirds of all known sicknesses—about 20,000—there is so far no way of treating the cause.” [2] So rosacea is somewhere between three quarters and two thirds of what is termed idiopathic diseases. [3] Since the cause of rosacea isn't known, and the number of theories on the cause of rosacea has grown exponentially over the years, rosacea is classified as an idiopathic disease

According to Michael Detmar, M.D., in 2003, only one paper was published for every 144,000 rosacea patients in the United States, compared to a 1-to-11 ratio for melanoma and 1 to 4,900 for psoriasis. [4] This indicates how rosacea research is compared to other idiopathic skin diseases that have a more devastating impact on sufferers. If you had to choose one of these three diseases as a consequence which one would you choose?  Comparing rosacea to melanoma or psoriasis does put rosacea into perspective when it comes to suffering.  

So any papers published about rosacea research is indeed something to be grateful for. With the increase of spending money by the skin industry for rosacea prescription and non prescription treatments due to the increase money spent by rosacea sufferers for these treatments, this increases the spending by these same skin industry companies for more rosacea research. The NRS and AARS, being sponsored by mostly by pharmaceutical companies, these two non profit organizations have engaged in most of the rosacea research conducted by non profits. Some academia rosacea research is also sponsored by the skin industry. Therefore, most of the rosacea research is being sponsored by the skin industry which is noted in the next paragraph.  A typical example is this paper about three over the counter redness control treatments sponsored by a pharmaceutical company. 

Dr. Kligman in a paper he wrote in 2003 mentions the "indifference of the National Institutes of Health, which with an annual budget of nearly 30 billion dollars, has not seen fit to fund a single grant for the investigation of rosacea." Dr. Kligman also says that most research done on rosacea is by the skin industry which is "voluminous literature, mainly focused on treatments sponsored by commercial interests; perhaps not the most credible source of unbiased research.'” 
A Personal Critique on the State of Knowledge of Rosacea, Albert M. Kligman, M.D., Ph.D.
Department of Dermatology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, U.S.A.

If rosaceans want to sponsor their own, independent rosacea research, they would need to be united, have a volunteer spirit, and use the RRDi to sponsor their own research. Put that into perspective. You should also understand another perspective in this, Rosacea Research in Perspective of Funding.

Imagine if 10,000 RRDi members united together and each donated one dollar and we then sponsored a rosacea research clinical study that is peer reviewed, double blind, and placebo controlled using the RRDi MAC as collaboration on this research study. Put that into perspective with research into Idiopathic Diseases such as rosacea. Or you can let the status quo research into rosacea continue as it is with the skin industry sponsoring most of the research and funding non profit organizations, as well as academia research that rely on the skin industry for most of their funding whose the boards of directors are made up of NON rosacea sufferers. 

Joel T. Bamford, M.D., wrote an article in the Journal of the RRDi entitled, "Is it possible for rosaceans to do research?"

In conclusion, the vast majority of the rosacea research papers being done is supported by the skin industry and very little, if any, is being sponsored by independent sources that have no commercial interest involved in the research. In comparison to other idiopathic diseases which may have more independent sources to fund research, rosacea research will continue on this same course of skin industry sponsored rosacea research unless rosaceans want to change this course with their own independent funded research, unless you come up with a better idea by finding the reply button and posting your comment.  

End Notes

[1] how many diseases are there?

[2] The German pharmaceutical publication Statistics ’97

[3] Idiopathic Disease, Wikipedia

[4] Rosacea: turning all stones for source of pathology, Rebecca Bryant, Dermatology Times, Jun 1, 2004


Related to the skin industry funding rosacea research are the following posts: 

Dermatological Textbooks Conflict of Interests

Rosacea Research in Perspective of Funding

Skin Industry Rosacea Research & Social Media

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