For a number of years patient associations discussed the idea of having an annual day specially dedicated to people with psoriasis - after all there is a World AIDs Day, a No Tobacco Day and there's even an International Internet-Free Day. However without sponsorship or other financial support, the idea could not get off the ground.
Serono helped the idea become a reality in 2004, by providing sponsorship, support and invaluable resources. Their generous backing enabled the formation of an independent Steering Committee (consisting of members and non-members of psoriasis associations from different countries around the world). This committee met in July 2004 in order to define the overall purpose and key messages of WPD. The global consortium of patients and patient associations agreed that 2004 would mark the launch year for WPD and that the 29th of October would be set as the date for WPDs to come.
Thanks to the motivation and determination of its supporters and with the generous sponsorship from Serono, a wide variety of activities took place around the world in the lead up to WPD 2004. These efforts - ranging from the distribution of leaflets and postcards to the staging of an ice-hockey event - helped to make the inaugural WPD a huge success.
29 October is World Psoriasis Day this year too. Its primary purpose is to act as a focus for people - patients, doctors, nurses and the general public - to raise awareness of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis and to give people with psoriasis and/or psoriatic arthritis the attention and consideration they deserve. World Psoriasis Day is also useful as a channel to encourage health authorities to offer better access to the most appropriate treatments.