Breakthroughs in Treatment Dosing Increase Access to Life-Changing Medication for Acromegaly Patients

Breakthroughs in Treatment Dosing Increase Access to Life-Changing Medication for Acromegaly Patients

Acromegaly is a rare hormonal disorder that results from the overproduction of human growth hormone by a benign tumor of the pituitary gland, resulting in several painful, disfiguring symptoms—most notably enlarged hands, feet and facial features. Approximately 20,000 patients are diagnosed with acromegaly each year in the U.S. Appropriate control of acromegaly is crucial to

Acromegaly is a rare hormonal disorder that results from the overproduction of human growth hormone by a benign tumor of the pituitary gland, resulting in several painful, disfiguring symptoms—most notably enlarged hands, feet and facial features. Approximately 20,000 patients are diagnosed with acromegaly each year in the U.S. Appropriate control of acromegaly is crucial to prevent joint pain, high blood sugar levels, fatigue, sexual dysfunction and other poor health outcomes associated with the disease, as well as to improve patients’ overall quality of life.

For many patients with acromegaly, medications are the primary treatment strategy to control the disease. Because of the disease’s rarity, medications that effectively treat acromegaly are costly. Vivien Bonert, MD, clinical director of the Pituitary Center at Cedars-Sinai, sees firsthand how detrimental the high cost can be to acromegaly therapeutic outcomes.

“The average monthly cost for injectable somatostatin analogs ranges from $1,500–$2,500/month for a low dose to as much as $7,000/month, on average, for higher doses,” says Bonert. “Somatostatin analogs, however, are approved by most insurances. It is more challenging to gain approval for another medication, pegvisomant, which is frequently denied due to cost.”

When it is approved, pegvisomant costs patients at least $200 per day when taken daily, as is currently recommended by the Food and Drug Administration. “It’s extremely expensive for patients who take pegvisomant seven days a week,” adds Bonert.

Source: https://www.cedars-sinai.org/blog/life-changing-medication-for-acromegaly-patients.html

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