Ericka Wong, MD, discusses challenges and opportunities with new FDA-approved treatments for myasthenia gravis.
Ericka Wong, MD: With the approval of these new treatments, this is really great for our patients, these medications overall. Their efficacy and safety profiles have been striking. But the question is, where do we insert these medications into the toolbox we already have? Are these medications we consider in patients with newly diagnosed myasthenic who are treatment-naïve; or should we consider them in patients who are myasthenic and have been on 1 therapy and either are unable to tolerate adverse effects or just not having the outcome that we want, and we decided to switch them to this medication? I think we‘re not sure yet. I think that is to come in terms of how we think these medications will be best optimized in treating patients who are myasthenic. But having these new options is overall very exciting and great for our patients who are myasthenic.
Formulary status and drug costs are definitely a concern, and many of these new medications are quite costly. My job is to advocate for the patient the best I can. Part of that is to document, to reflect the patient’s symptoms and burden of disease accurately. And certainly, if the cost of treatment is still too much of a burden then I think we would have to just find an alternative for the patient. But many of the manufacturers also have a financial support program, so that’s 1 option. Also, just speaking to the manufacturer about what tips they have. But again, as long as the provider continues to advocate for their patient, then we’ll see what happens in terms of the cost of the medications in the future.
Transcript Edited for Clarity