Express Pharma

Intas launches Romiplostim in India

With this, the drug firm makes therapy for chronic immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) more accessible to patients

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In a first, Intas Pharmaceuticals has launched Romiplostim in India under the name Romy, which is one of the most efficacious agents with proven long-term benefits in chronic ITP. It represents the standard of care but has been available only internationally since 2008.

It is estimated that around 42,000 patients are diagnosed with ITP in India every year. Less than 10 per cent of patients including adults as well as children, have access to the treatment required to maintain adequate platelet counts for a longer duration. In ITP, long-term use of drugs is required to maintain adequate platelet count.

The currently available standard of care therapy for chronic ITP costs approximately Rs 60,000 per month, which can financially drain most of the patients. With the launch of Romy, which is priced at Rs 2,995 for a dose of 250 mcg, the monthly cost of treatment for most patients will be less than Rs 12,000.

Dr Mammen Chandy, Director, Tata Medical Center, Kolkata, on the launch, said, “Romiplostim’s introduction in India will help clinicians immensely as it will add to their therapeutic armamentarium in managing thrombocytopenia due to Chronic ITP and Bone Marrow failure. Even in patients developing hepatotoxicity due to Eltrombopag, Romiplostim will be considered as a choice of treatment.”

Talking more about the launch, Dr MB Agarwal, said, “Romiplostim is an injection given below the skin (like insulin) once a week which was available in the US, Europe and Australia for almost a decade but was never marketed in India. Patients were using an oral pill – Eltrombopag on a daily basis at the cost of almost Rs 2,750 per day. With Intas, Romiplostim’s cost for treating chronic ITP will come down by almost six times. Approved for ITP, this drug may be used by clinicians as per their discretion for managing low platelet counts due to other reasons as well.”

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