Working Together We Are Stronger – IADPO

3 December 2018

When the World Congress of Dermatology opens in Milan, Italy on 10 June 2019, it will be an auspicious occasion for dermatologists attending from around the world as well as a significant milestone for dermatology patient organisations globally.


With support from the WCD2015, the ILDS, Canadian Dermatology Association and Canadian Skin Patient Alliance, dermatology patient organisations from around the globe assembled for the first time ever in 2015 during the WCD in Vancouver, Canada. Out of that inaugural gathering was born a global patient-led movement to improve the lives of all dermatology patients. The International Alliance of Dermatology Patient Organizations (IADPO – also known as GlobalSkin), a not-for-profit organisation, was founded to lead this global skin movement. In the three years since this unique global alliance has grown to represent nearly 100 patient organisations in 36 countries and over 36 disease areas.

GlobalSkin focuses on research, advocacy and support to raise awareness and understanding of disease impact, thereby elevating the importance of dermatological diseases. In the current climate of patient-centricity, GlobalSkin hopes to positively affect the way the world sees dermatology. By strengthening the patient voice, through community building, mentoring programmes, resource creation and sharing, and organisational skills development for member organisations, GlobalSkin is uniquely positioned to create a patient-led movement for change.

GlobalSkin members believe that credible data that measures and shows the true impact of living with dermatological diseases, from the patient perspective, is not only absent but very often not requested by policy-makers. GlobalSkin has therefore launched a novel project: Global Research on the Impact of Dermatological Diseases (GRIDD). This first-ever global patient-initiated ‘impact of skin disease’ research project is expected to have a profound and lasting effect on how policy decisions affecting the care and treatment of dermatology patients are made. It is widely felt that the data collected through this global research will help quantify the overall importance of the specialty of dermatology and stimulate further research.

Over the coming months – leading up to our GlobalSkin 2019 Conference taking place in Milan, June 7-9, just ahead of the WCD – GlobalSkin aims to increase member involvement to over 50 countries. By involving more patient organisations in the GRIDD project, covering more countries and diseases, the resulting impact data can better influence DALY (Disability-Adjusted Life Year) rankings, and policy decisions made by the World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations (UN). This can also lead to an increased profile for dermatology locally.

Dermatologists and other Healthcare Professions (HCP) can support this movement by telling patient organisations in their country about GlobalSkin. They will benefit from support and opportunities to help them build upon the important work they do. Benefits of our no-fee membership can be found on our website. By spreading the word about the global skin movement, we all show our commitment to patient-centric research and advocacy while also building a better understanding of the importance of dermatological care for a better future for all.

International Alliance of Dermatology Patient Organizations (IADPO)