Drug Update: December 2017

Specialty Drug Approvals

New Gene Therapy Approved for Rare Vision-Threatening Condition: Luxturna®

In December 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first gene therapy for treating patients with disease caused by a specific genetic mutation. Luxturna® (voretigene neparvovec-rzyl) is approved to treat children and adults with a rare, inherited condition causing loss of vision. It is indicated specifically for patients with retinal dystrophy caused by a RPE65 mutation in both copies of the gene. These mutations can lead to loss of vision and result in blindness in some individuals. Luxturna is administered as a one-time injection into each eye by an experienced eye surgeon. Read more

Drug Update: November 2017

Vaccine Update

New Shingles Vaccine, Shingrix®, Recommended Over Zostavax®

Shingles occurs when the varicella zoster virus (VZV) is reactivated in a patient previously infected with the VZV virus. The VZV virus is responsible for causing the childhood illness chickenpox, and nearly all older adults already have the virus in their body. As an individual ages reactivation of the virus is more likely to occur because the immune system may be unable to suppress the virus from replicating. In the United States, there are approximately one million cases of shingles each year with the vast majority of cases occurring in patients over the age of 50 years. Read more