You wake up to find you are aching all over, sneezing, and chilling. You try to tell yourself that it’s not what you think it is, but unfortunately, it is—you have the dreaded flu. But don’t despair as there is a new hope on the horizon.
With the flu season ramping up, it was recently reported that the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has added another weapon to its arsenal in combatting the virus, with the approval of a new treatment.
The new drug, Xofluza, is the creation of the pharmaceutical company Genentech, and it has the distinction of being the first drug approved by the FDA to fight the flu in over two decades. However, the drug does come with a hefty price–$150.
Similar to Tamiflu, Xofluza is only effective when taken within the first two days after the individual presents with flu symptoms. The drug is also only to be used by those twelve years old and older. With the taking of this drug, the symptoms of the flu, as well as how long the effects from the virus will last will be significantly shortened.
FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb stated:
“With thousands of people getting the flu every year, and many people becoming seriously ill, having safe and effective treatment alternatives is critical. This novel drug provides an important, additional treatment option.”
Gottlieb noted that it is important to remember that this drug does not replace the flu vaccine, as it works to prevent the disease.
The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) currently recommend three drugs effective for the treatment of flu symptoms: Tamiflu, Relenza, and Rapivab.
A Genentech spokesperson stated that although the wholesale cost of Xofluza is currently set at $150, the pharmaceutical company does offer a coupon for commercially insured patients that would bring the cost down to only $30.