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Jeffrey Casberg on Breakthrough Ophthalmic Drugs That Payers, Pharmacists Should Pay Attention to

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Among these treatments is an aflibercept product with improved dosing for the patient that is coming up for approval in a few months, explained Jeffrey Casberg, senior director of pharmacy at IPD Analytics.

Jeffrey Casberg, senior director of pharmacy at IPD Analytics, talks about some of the high-impact specialty drugs he highlighted in his session at AMCP 2023.

What high-impact specialty drugs have been approved recently, and what impacts have they made?

The drugs I'm going to talk about here for a minute or 2, some may have just been approved, or many of them are pipeline products that are the ones that I just spoke about at AMCP this week and could be of interest to payers and pharma in the future.

The first one I'll talk about is Syfovre, it's a new drug for dry AMD. In the United States, in this ophthalmic condition that can cause blindness, about 85% of the patients have dry AMD and only about 15% have wet [AMD]. In the previous 10 to 20 years, we've been able to treat the wet AMD with Eylea and products like that. But with this new Syfovre, for geographic atrophy secondary to wet AMD, it's kind of a new therapy which will prevent blindness of patients moving forward. It's kind of a landmark breakthrough in the treatment of this ophthalmic condition. It's given every 25 to 60 days. So in some ways, the doctors use their own knowledge and seeing how the patient's progressing, and then either dose them or let them go on and then dose them a few weeks later. So the docs kind of keep track of that. It's about 1 million patients in the United States with this condition, but 75% of the patients are going to end up getting the drug, we think, every 60 days rather than every 25 days or so. So that's kind of a interesting new therapeutic area.

Along with that, in the same category actually, is this dry AMD, and Eylea has been the leading product in that category for many years. But they've recently come upon some increased competition and, as well, their patent life is coming up. So Regeneron is coming up with a new Eylea HD, which instead of being dosed, I think it's dosed every 8 to 12 weeks, it's now going to be dosed with a higher milligram strength but every 16 weeks. So they're trying to come up with a product to improve dosing for the patient, but also maintain their revenue for Regeneron, and that's going to be coming up for approval in a few months.

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