The recently developed treatment for psoriasis of Johnson & Johnson gets approved by the FDA on Thursday. Janssen Biotech (JNJ’s biotechnology company) created TREMFYA for the treatment of plaque psoriasis in adults who are subject for phototherapy or systemic therapy.
TREMFYA vs. Humira
The first drug that gained the approval of FDA is a drug for rheumatoid arthritis known as Enbrel in the treatment of psoriasis. It was in 2008 when another drug won another FDA approval in treating psoriasis. The drug Humira of AbbVie is similarly highly effective in treating the unbearable skin condition.
Usually, the treatment lasts for 24 weeks before seeing improvements of at least 90% in symptoms of psoriasis. After such time, patients have been reporting that they are already relieved from the debilitating skin disease.
However, patients have expressed their concerns on the long-term use of Humira in their therapy as there is a number of health risks associated with its use. There are also studies that revealed that patients treated with Humira had an increased risk in developing serious complications and infections that led to their hospitalization and even death.
In a study conducted by Johnson & Johnson, it has shown results that about seven in ten patients have experienced an almost clear skin after 24 weeks of continuous treatment, whereas there are only four out of ten patients for AbbVie’s Humira.
TREMFYA Market Price
Guselkumab (chemical name of TREMFYA) will be sold at $9,684 per dose or a total of $58,100 in a year – that is, if the patient does not have insurance. Humira, the top-selling drug sells at $59,200 per year.
It is known that the recommended dosage of the JNJ’s drug is 100 mg subcutaneous injection intended every 2 months (or specifically, 8 weeks).
Another Treatment Option for Psoriasis
Psoriasis is an itchy and painful condition. It causes cells to build up at a faster rate on your skin’s surface. As patches of skin develops it then leads to silver-like scales. There is no known cure for psoriasis aside from the treatment which can alleviate and relieve the symptoms.
The usual appearance of psoriasis looks like patches of thick, red and scale-like skin. The common areas affected are the elbows, palms, soles of the feet, lower back, face, scalp, knees and anywhere on the body including the fingernails, toenails, inside area of the mouth and the genitals.
Nearly 8 million Americans suffer from psoriasis. TREMFYA was able to ease the symptoms of this disease.
Three weeks ago, stocks of Johnson & Johnson topped at $137 and the company is struggling to recuperate. Yesterday, July 13, 2017 the stocks traded at $132.18 and today, it went lower to $131.86.
JNJ says that it will do its best efforts to ensure that TREMFYA would be available and reasonably priced for patients. It even plans to give patients having insurance a co-pay card a price of $5 per dose.
On July 18, J&J is set to release its second-quarter earnings. The company must be able to find ways on how to make the treatment more accessible and economical for all people who want to avail the drug.
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