Summer 2018 | Live Blog | Product Theater | A Closer Look at Taltz
The first product theater on Day 3 of the SDPA Annual Summer Conference was “A Closer Look at Taltz” presented by Dr. Andrew Blauvelt.
Taltz is indicated for adults with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis who are candidates for systemic therapy or phototherapy and for adults with active psoriatic arthritis. Dr. Blauvelt reports that in 2018, the goal of treatment for psoriasis patients is to strive to have patients clear to less than or equal to 1% body surface area with psoriasis. He believes this is now a possibility with newer medications including Taltz. Clear skin allows us to provide the best quality life for patients with psoriasis. He reiterated that “even a little bit of psoriasis affects people’s lives”.
Taltz is designed to specifically target Interleukin 17A (IL-17A). IL-17A has been implicated in the pathogenesis of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. Taltz is the only biologic approved for moderate to severe genital psoriasis. The UNCOVER-2 trials revealed 40% of patients completely cleared at 12 weeks with Taltz. Of note, these numbers also improved the longer patients were on the medication.
For adverse events, 17% of patients on Taltz have a mild to moderate injection site reactions. The most frequent injection site reactions are erythema and pain and have not been found to lead to discontinuation of Taltz. No significant difference in serious infection rates for Taltz vs placebo has been found. Unlike older biologics, response rates are the same for patients using Taltz independent of age, race, body weight and gender. The data on Taltz studies reveal that at 60 weeks, there is no evidence that the adverse event rate is higher for Taltz than placebo.
Dr. Blauvelt reported that “untreated or undertreated psoriatic arthritis can lead to irreversible consequences such as progressive joint damage, functional impairment and disability.” Screening, early diagnosis and effective collaboration between dermatology providers and rheumatology providers has been suggested for better disease control and improve patient outcomes. After two years of treatment with Taltz, joint pain continues to improve in psoriatic arthritis patients.
Finally, patients should be evaluated for TB prior to initiation of treatment and should not receive live immunizations when they are on this medication.