Medications for treating certain rare and chronic conditions, including multiple sclerosis (MS), are now available from the specialty and home delivery pharmacy AllianceRx Walgreens Prime, the company announced.
The newly included specialty medications are all limited distribution drugs (LDDs), which means the drug manufacturers have signed agreements giving very few (or even just one) distributors the right to sell their products.
The newly included LDDs for MS treatment are Mayzent (siponimod) and Mavenclad (cladribine). Both of these therapies work by reducing the activity of the immune system with the goal of minimizing immune cell-mediated damage to neurons that is the defining feature of MS.
Mayzent was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in March for the treatment of relapsing forms of MS, including relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS), clinically isolated syndrome (CIS), and active secondary progressive MS (SPMS). Mayzent is manufactured by Novartis.
Mavenclad, manufactured by EMD Serono (known as Merck KGaA outside the U.S. and Canada), was approved by the FDA (also in March) for RRMS and active SPMS. Because of its safety profile, Mavenclad is recommended only for MS patients who already have tried other MS therapies, but who did not have an adequate response and/or were not able to tolerate those treatments. Of note, the prescribing information for Mavenclad includes a warning that it may increase the risk of cancer, or cause harm to a developing fetus.
Other LDDs now included through AllianceRx Walgreens Prime include Samsung Bioepis‘ Eticovo (etanercept-ykro), which is used to treat a variety of autoimmune diseases (e.g., rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis); Jacobus Pharmaceutical Company‘s Ruzurgi (amifampridine), which is used to treat Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome in pediatric patients (age 6 to less than 17 years); and Genentech‘s Polivy (polatuzumab vedotin-piiq), used to treat diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.
“Manufacturers choose AllianceRx Walgreens Prime as a limited distribution drug partner because they value our ability to support patients throughout their treatment journey,” Tracey James, vice president of pharmacy services at AllianceRx Walgreens Prime, said in a press release.
“They know we are committed to delivering the high-touch care these patients need, while striving to contain costs and drive health outcomes,” James said.