U.S. FDA officially authorizes Lilly’s Verzenio drug to treat patients with common advanced breast cancer

September 29, 2017

The all-pervasive regulatory body – the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has scarcely approved a novel drug pill – called Verzenio, conceptualized and manufactured by Eli Lilly and Company to treat patients suffering from common advanced breast cancer. The drug has apparently been developed for the treatment of patients affected by HER2-Positive and HR- Positive type of breast cancer, whose condition worsens post receiving hormone treatment. As per FDA reports, nearly 72% of breast cancer patients suffer from this cancer type.

Reliable sources state that the Verzenio drug blocks certain kinds of enzymes that are inherently responsible for promoting cancer growth. The drug can be consumed by both - breast cancer patients undergoing hormone treatment as well as breast cancer stricken patients who have not been responding to chemotherapy and hormone treatments. A spokesperson of Eli Lilly has revealed that the drug costs are slightly on the higher side – approximately USD 10,948 per month. However, the firm has also declared that it would be privileged to provide monetary assistance for patients in the form of insurance coverage with a nominal copayment for the first twelve months.

The Verzenio drug is expected to compete with two of its arch rivals, Ibrance® and Kisqali®. While the former has been developed by Pfizer Incorporation, Kisqali® has been developed by Novartis AG. For the record, both the products have already been approved by FDA toward the end of the first quarter of 2017. Both the drugs are priced at the same amount as Lily’s Verzenio, and neither can provide stand-alone treatment to breast cancer patients.

Results derived from the clinical tests have revealed that Verzenio consumed by the patients during hormone treatment for nearly over the first 16 months had completely halted the growth of cancerous cells. The drug has thus, apparently proven to be more effective in combating the development of cancer tissues in the patients than the pills consumed during hormone treatment. The observations derived from the available medical test data results demonstrated that the breast cancer tumors in nearly 20% of patients consuming Verzenio reduced significantly during the first eight and half months.

However, it has been found that the drug can cause severe side-effects such as low white blood cell count, blood clotting, and diarrhea. The most common side-effects witnessed among the patients consuming the drug include vomiting, anemia, and fatigue. As a precautionary measure, it has been advised by doctors that pregnant women would need to avoid the consumption of Verzenio.