The Effects of Apremilast Therapy on Deployability in Active Duty US Army Soldiers With Plaque Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis

Andrew D. Price, DO; Vanya D. Wagler, DO; Chase Donaldson, MD; Patrick J. Mastin, MD


J Clin Rheumatol. 2021;27(3):127-128. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Apremilast is a novel oral phosphodiesterase-4 inhibitor that is used for plaque psoriasis (PsO) and psoriatic arthritis (PsA). This medication is unique in that it is oral and does not require refrigeration or laboratory monitoring. It also has few adverse effects in comparison with other agents.[1–5] These characteristics make apremilast a potentially useful therapy for active duty (AD) service members who may deploy to austere environments.

US Army service members who are diagnosed with conditions requiring immunosuppressive medications are generally referred to a medical evaluation board for medical separation from military service. Deployability is an important metric that both combat- and non–combat-focused Army units must maintain at all times. Use of any immunosuppressive medications, to include biologic and nonbiologic disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs), will incur a nondeployable status and subsequent medical evaluation board referral.[6]

Given that apremilast has not been shown to increase the risk of serious opportunistic infection,[1–4] this therapy may allow some service members to continue their military careers. This medical records review study examined the use of apremilast in the US Army for PsO and PsA in order to describe its effects on troop deployability.