AbbVie Korea said Tuesday that its non-infectious uveitis treatment Humira (ingredient: adalimumab) would be eligible for insurance benefits next month.
Uveitis is an inflammation of the uvea, including the iris, choroid, and ciliary body in the eye. If untreated, it can lead to cataracts, glaucoma, cystoid macular edema, and blindness.
Uveitis is the third leading cause of blindness worldwide and is the fifth leading cause of blindness in the United States. The disease is difficult to diagnose and treat, and there are no universally accepted guidelines for the treatment of non-infectious uveitis, limiting treatment options until Humira.
Humira is an immune system drug that treats nine conditions, including plaque psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, Chron’s disease, and ulcerative colitis, as approved by the EU regulatory authorities. The treatment is also the first and only biologic agent approved in Korea for the treatment of noninfectious uveitis.
According to the payment criteria, if new active or inflammatory lesion does not appear after six weeks of evaluations with Humira, benefits will be paid for additional administration. Every eight weeks after that, the continued taking is acceptable if no further active or inflammatory lesions are present.
"Noninfectious uveitis is a disease that requires a new treatment method because of the lack of efficacy of the existing therapies or the frequent occurrence of side effects from long-term use," said Professor Ham Don-il함돈일 of Samsung Medical Center삼성서울병원. "It is encouraging that Humira, the approved biologic for non-infective uveitis, has become able to receive the first coverage in the country, and patients with noninfectious uveitis at risk of blindness will receive the latest treatment with insurance to reduce the risk of blindness.”
Abbvie Korea CEO Jin Joo-ye진주예 noted that if uveitis is not adequately treated or managed, it can have a serious impact on vision.
“Based on our strong clinical data, we believe that Humira will open the way for the treatment of inflammation and provide meaningful advances in the treatment and management of uveitis patients," she said.
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