Astellas Pharma US Announces Discontinuation of Manufacturing for Amevive
Astellas Pharma US, manufacturer of alefacept (Amevive), has announced its decision to cease sales of Amevive, indicated for adults with chronic plaque psoriasis.
Distribution of Amevive to wholesalers and distributors ceased in November 2011. Physicians have until November 16, 2012 to return any and all Amevive inventory to GENCO, the company return vendor, for either the full contract price if the drug was purchased under an Astellas pricing agreement or 100% of current WAC if the purchase was not made under a pricing agreement.
The decision to discontinue the manufacturing of Amevive was not based on the current supply disruption that Astellas is experiencing, the company reports. In addition, the decision was not the result of any specific safety concern or an FDA-mandated or voluntary product recall. According to physician and patient letters sent by Astellas about the discontinuation, the decision “was driven by business needs.”
Astellas Pharma is recommending that physicians do not initiate Amevive for new patients. If a physician does choose to start a patient on Amevive, or if a patient is currently taking the drug, the company recommends checking with coordinating pharmacies about the availability of the drug. Astellas also recommends that physicians begin transitioning patients to new therapeutic regimens.
Current patients on Amevive will have access to existing support programs (eg, Astellas reimbursement services and the Patient Assistance Program) through March 16, 2012.
For more information, and to access the patient and physician letters from Amevive, please click here.