Article Regarding New Eczema Drug, Dupixent:
The Food and Drug Administration approved a drug, Dupixent, to treat people with a serious form of eczema, a potential breakthrough for people who have suffered for years without relief. But it will not come cheap.
Patients often must demonstrate that other, cheaper drugs did not work before an insurer will cover more expensive drugs. Regeneron has said it also negotiated a more streamlined approval process, although patients will still have to try other drugs first. It also said it had a patient assistance program to help people who have trouble paying.
Dupixent treats severe to moderate atopic dermatitis, a common form of eczema that goes beyond the occasional bouts of itchy, dry skin that many people get. For people with serious forms of the disease, other treatments often do little to calm their skin, leading to sleeplessness, depression and social anxiety. Regeneron said Tuesday that an estimated 300,000 people in the United States could qualify for its drug.
“I always say that atopic dermatitis doesn’t kill you, it just ruins your life,” said Dr. Elaine Siegfried, a professor of pediatrics and dermatology at the St. Louis University School of Medicine. She was not involved in the clinical trials that led to approval, but she said she was likely to enroll patients in pediatric studies that are getting underway. Dupixent, she said, appears to work well, with few serious side effects. “It is groundbreaking,” she said.
Debbie Byrnes, a sixth-grade teacher from San Antonio who participated in the clinical trial, had suffered for years with severe eczema that often covered her face. “That was the really difficult thing for me — I could never hide it,” she said. “I would have days when I went into school, and the kids would look at me and say, ‘What happened to you?’ ”
Ms. Byrnes said she began noticing a difference about five days after her first dose and has now been using the drug for two years. Her skin is now almost completely clear, and occasional flare-ups are quickly brought under control. “If you saw me,” she said, “you wouldn’t know that I ever had atopic dermatitis.”
We are excited to announce that we are offering the Dupixent in our clinic for people suffering from moderate to severe atopic (allergic) dermatitis (eczema). Dupixent is taken by subcutaneous (under the skin) injection every other week after an initial loading dose and is available by prescription only.
What is Eczema?
Eczema is an inflammatory skin condition that can be triggered by a number of factors that may be allergic or non-allergic in nature. The affected areas of the skin will often appear dry and scaly.
- Allergy shots for pollens/environment
- Prescribed Topical Medications
- Wet-wrap therapy
Eczema can be a frustrating condition. The treatments vary depending on the severity of the rash present. All of our patients are on different courses of treatment, so make an appointment with our allergist to find the best treatment plan for you. Dupixent may not be for everyone, but it is an exciting new treatment that is being offered in our clinic.