Dermavant Sciences is launching its first streaming commercial as part of a multimedia campaign targeting adults with plaque psoriasis as it looks to kick-start promotional efforts for its new topical skin drug Vtama.
The direct-to-consumer messaging in the campaign, known as “Topical Uprising,” is inspired by stories from real patients living with the chronic disease and highlights new treatment options.
Dermavant’s messaging is around giving patients the voice to ask for better treatment options from their physicians. About 66% of all prescriptions written annually for plaque psoriasis are for topical medications, but most of the television and streaming media ads, until now, are for injections and pills.
Dermavant—a subsidiary of Roivant Sciences—wants it to become second nature for patients with the disease to ask for topical prescriptions from their doctors.
The streaming video will appear on platforms such as YouTube, Roku and Paramount along with radio and social media channels—wherever the patient is watching or listening, creating a “360-degree surround sound for plaque psoriasis patients,” Stacey Williams, vice president of marketing at Dermavant Sciences, told Fierce Pharma Marketing in an interview.
Williams also said that Dermavant educated and shared clinical data with dermatologists before releasing the campaign so docs would be prepared to talk about the drug with patients.
The video will lead patients to VTAMA.com, which offers patients help in finding a dermatologist, a discussion guide for treatment options and information on drug affordability and copay assistance.
“The problem is many people don’t realize that it [plaque psoriasis] is chronic,” Williams said. “But many of the treatments can only be used intermittently because of the side effects.”
The advertising comes six months after the FDA approval of Vtama, Dermavant’s brand name for tapinarof. Prior to its approval, most prescribed topical treatments were steroids, which have a limited use for how long they can be used safely.
Williams says she was surprised by the emotion and frustration she heard from patients during the market research phase.
“It’s a skin disease, so you’re wearing your disease on the outside,” she said. “So, patients report feeling self-conscious or awkward. It’s terrible and hard to live like that.” Therefore, Williams is glad that Dermavant was able to offer a platform in which patients can feel validated and heard.
Psoriasis affects about 8 million people in the U.S. and 125 million people around the world.