Vtama is a steroid-free cream that works by targeting the aryl hydrocarbon receptor, which plays a role in regulating immune responses.
Plaque psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that causes itchy, scaly plaques. Current recommended treatment options have limits on how long you can use them and how much of the skin can be treated. Because of these limitations, combination therapy is often needed, which can be expensive and burdensome. Consequently, there is a need for more effective treatment options.
Vtama (tapinarof 1%) is a topical cream used once daily to treat plaque psoriasis in adults. It was approved by the FDA in 2022. On November 28, a review article was published in the Journal of Managed Care & Specialty Pharmacy. The paper, coauthored by April W. Armstrong, M.D. of the University of California, Los Angeles, and Jamie L. McConaha, Pharm.D. from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, was written to inform pharmacists and managed care professionals about the clinical profile of Vtama cream. The paper also delves into the cream’s unique mechanism of action and how it can fill the gaps in current psoriasis treatment options and improve patient outcomes.
Vtama is a steroid-free cream. It works by targeting the aryl hydrocarbon receptor, which plays a role in regulating immune responses, skin barrier functions, and oxidative stress. Vtama may be prescribed to treat plaque psoriasis of any severity and has no restrictions on the duration of use or extent of total body surface area treated. According to the drug’s FDA-approved labeling, the cream has no contraindications, warnings or drug-drug interactions.
In previous clinical trials, Vtama cream has shown persistent efficacy in reducing psoriasis symptoms and plaque severity. The PSOARING 3 long-term extension trial demonstrated the sustained efficacy of Vtama cream over 52 weeks of treatment. Patients treated with the cream achieved treat-to-target outcomes, with a significant portion achieving clear or almost clear skin, improved symptoms, and restored health-related quality of life. No serious adverse events were reported.
Further, Vtama has been shown to have a remittive effect. A remission-inducing outcome was observed in PSOARING 3, in which participants who achieved completely clear skin with Vtama remained clear or almost clear for about 4 months after they stopped using Vtama cream.
Vtama cream is currently being investigated for the treatment of plaque psoriasis in children ages 2 years and older. Multiple clinical trials are also ongoing to evaluate Vtama cream for treating atopic dermatitis (eczema) in adults and children as young as two years old.
A 60-gram tube of Vtama cream has an average retail price of around $1400 according to GoodRx. Dermavant, the drug’s manufacturer, has a patient assistance program that may reduce the copay for eligible patients.