PharmaEssentia Launches Besremi for Rare Blood Disease

Besremi was approved in November to treat adults with polycythemia vera.

Besremi (ropeginterferon alfa-2b-njft) injection, which was approved by the FDA in November to treat adults with polycythemia vera, a blood disease that causes the overproduction of red blood cells, is now commercially available in the United States.

Besremi, which was developed by PharmaEssentia, is the first FDA-approved medication for polycythemia vera that patients can take regardless of their treatment history, and the first interferon therapy specifically approved for polycythemia vera. Besremi is a long-acting drug that patients take by injection under the skin once every two weeks. PharmaEssentia has chosen Onco360 to be a specialty pharmacy partner for Besremi (ropeginterferon alfa-2b-njft). The FDA recently approved the therapy as a treatment for adult patients with polycythemia vera. This is the first interferon approved to treat a disease that causes the overproduction of red blood cells.

PharmaEssential has also launched a patient support program, a suite of services designed to help patients start and stay on therapy. Services include insurance navigation support, titration and injection training, and ongoing adherence guidance. The program also includes physician resources, including guides to help patients get started on treatment and ordering processes.

The company is offering co-pay and co-insurance programs to patients who experience financial need. Programs include a $0 copay card for commercially insured patients, temporary product supply in case of insurance delays and/or gaps in coverage, free drug for the uninsured and under-insured.

“We’ve designed the program with active input from the polycythemia vera community to simplify the process for appropriate patients to initiate and maintain access to Besremi,” Meredith Manning, U.S. general manager at PharmaEssentia, said in a statement.

Polycythemia vera is a cancer originating from a disease-initiating stem cell in the bone marrow resulting in a chronic increase of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. PV may result in cardiovascular complications such as thrombosis and embolism, and often transforms to secondary myelofibrosis or leukemia.