Taltz (ixekizumab) was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in March as a plaque psoriasis treatment for adults who are also candidates for systemic therapy or phototherapy. The drug is specifically engineered to target interleukin-17A.
Psoriasis is a chronic disease of the immune system that, like other chronic diseases, is often linked with other conditions, like psoriatic arthritis, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
Plaque psoriasis is the most common form of the disease and manifests as raised, red patches covered with a white buildup of dead skin cells or scale. These patches usually appear on the scalp, knees, elbows, and lower back, and are often itchy and painful. Treatment options include topical treatments and phototherapy, or systemic medications such as the Taltz injection.
According to Eli Lilly, 87 percent to 90 percent of patients treated with ixekizumab in three pivotal studies reported a significant improvement in their psoriasis plaques at week 12.
“The availability of new treatments like Taltz is vitally important for patients with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis,” Randy Beranek, president of the National Psoriasis Foundation, said in a press release. “We are happy to see more options available so patients can continue treating this very difficult disease.”
The company has produced a “How to Use Taltz” video for patients, and has set up the Taltz Together Program to assist people with the medication, offering injection training, guidance on navigating insurance benefits, or in working with a contracted network of specialty pharmacies to fill ixekizumab prescriptions. Patients can also call 1-844-825-8966 for direct assistance.
“With Taltz now available, physicians and patients have a new treatment option that may help patients experience virtually or completely clear skin,” said Alex Azar, president of Eli Lilly USA. “Lilly is committed to providing education and resources to help make Taltz accessible to people with moderate-to-server plaque psoriasis.”
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