Pfizer Korea said Thursday that its nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) Celebrex (ingredient name: Celecoxib) would be eligible for insurance benefits to all adults with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis from Friday.
Celebrex has been shown to selectively inhibit COX-2 enzymes while suppressing the COX-1 enzyme, which acts as a gastrointestinal protective agent during pain and inflammation and reduces the risk of gastrointestinal complications that are common in existing nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory analgesics and maintain the same level of efficacy.
Also, Celebrex has demonstrated cardiovascular safety profiles in more than 20,000 patients with arthritis through a PRECISION study comparing Celebrex’s cardiovascular safety with non-selective anti-inflammatory drugs (ns-NSAIDs) for about 10 years. Recently, a sub-analysis of PRECISION shows that Celebrex is accumulating data by reporting data that the rate of hypertension is low compared to non-selective anti-inflammatory analgesics (ns-NSAIDs).
Until recently, Celebrex's coverage was limited to patients aged 60 or older, but the benefits were recognized as a first-line treatment for osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis. Also, Celebrex's previous benefit criteria included upper gastrointestinal ulcers, bleeding, perforation confirmed in their history, administrating steroid and anticoagulant preparation, if a patient does not respond to an existing NSAID, or needs a large number of NSAIDs.
Osteoarthritis, a significant indication for Celebrex, has been recognized as a geriatric disease with the name of "degenerative arthritis," but with the recent decline in the age at onset, attention has also been paid to older patients. About four out of 10 patients with osteoarthritis last year were under 60 years of age, and the number of osteoarthritis patients in their 40s and 50s has also increased steadily for about five years. The Celebrex salary expansion is expected to increase access to treatment for younger patients.
"We expect Celebrex, a major product of Pfizer's Essential Health division, to benefit from the benefits and stability of Celebrex without the financial burden on patients of all ages,” said Lee Hye-young이혜영, vice president of Pfizer Pharmaceutical's Essential Health (PEH). "We will continue to make patients have more access to effective and safe therapies.”
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