The Ministry of Health and Welfare has granted additional reimbursement to Celgene’s multiple myeloma drug, Revlimid (ingredient: lenalidomide) in treating myelodysplastic syndrome from the start of this month.
|Revlimid in 7 doses (2.5mg, 5mg, 7.5mg, 10mg, 15mg, 20mg, 25mg)|
The expanded health insurance coverage for the Revlimid lineup (2.5 mg, 5 mg, 7.5 mg, 10 mg, 15 mg, 20 mg and 25 mg) for myelodysplastic syndrome will cover patients with transfusion-dependent anemia due to low- or intermediate-1–risk myelodysplastic syndromes associated with a deletion 5q cytogenetic (excluding chromosome 7) abnormality.
“Since myelodysplastic syndrome has had minimal treatment, the news of Revlimid’s reimbursement expansion is significant in that it can provide patients with new therapies and improve the treatment environment,” said Professor Lee Jae-han of the department of hematology at Asan Medical Center.
Because the myelodysplastic syndrome requires periodic transfusions, patients are routinely exposed to the risk of iron overload or toxic poisoning due to frequent transfusions, Lee added.
“Revlimid can reduce the patient’s blood transfusion dependence, and we anticipate that some patients with 5q cell gene deficiency, who had previously had a hard time being treated, will enjoy benefits,” Lee said.
Celgene Korea CEO Ham Tae-jin also said, “Revlimid has expanded its coverage to treat myelodysplastic syndromes as well as multiple myeloma, giving patients new treatment options. As a leader in blood and rare cancer therapies, Celgene will continue to do its best to offer innovative treatment options to Korean patients.”