Dermatologic and Ophthalmic Drugs Advisory Committee
Drugs Safety and Risk Management Advisory Committee
Statement of Tyrone Gorre
Since I had bad psoriasis for a long time and had known a dermatologist that helped with research studies, he asked me if I wanted to participate in a study of this new drug oral tazarotene.
I thought about it seriously. At the time, I had a nephew who was beginning to show signs of psoriasis. He was about the same age I was when my psoriasis started getting bad. This was the extra motivation I needed to join the study. I was willing to do it because I wanted to answer questions about psoriasis for myself, for my family, and for other families too.
During the first part of the study I am 99% sure I received a placebo. There was zero effect. During the second part of the study, I received the drug. The only side effect I noticed was peeling skin. After about week six, I noticed the thickness of the plaques shrinking dramatically. I certainly did not notice any depression. I was excited!
Within about four months I was 95% clear and just had tiny little areas of affected skin. The research clinic said I went from having 25% of my body affected to 4%. That was a pretty good improvement, and it felt like more than that.
At the point the study ended, I had only a few patches of red skin here and there, smaller than the size of a quarter. For the first time in my life, I was virtually clear of psoriasis. It was amazing!
I was wearing sandles and open-toed shoes. I was even wearing a
black suit, which is amazing! A while ago, for the first time in 28 years, I
wore a tuxedo with a silk collar, with confidence. For the first time in my
life, I went to Calistoga
I used to feel bad. The amount of mental pressure that this has released is just huge. The confidence that not having psoriasis brings is amazing. It is so rewarding to not have to worry so much.
There are three huge things this study changed for me: One, with psoriasis you can’t sleep because of the itching. I can sleep all night now. Two, you are so self-conscious and the psoriasis eats at your confidence all the time. All that changed too. Three, the constant pain and stinging of psoriasis are incredible. It just consumes a huge part of your life. That was gone too.
I will live with psoriasis for the rest of my life. I am really glad I got involved in the study because it gave me hope and it should give other people with psoriasis hope too. After more than 20 years struggling with psoriasis, I feel like a new man using this drug. This medication has not only improved my physical health, it has given me back my self-confidence.
One thing I hope is that this committee will do what it can to make this drug available to patients who need it. This was definitely the least threatening oral medicine I have tried for psoriasis. It has worked for me. I did it for myself and for my family and for the thousands of people just like me.
Thank you very much.