Janssen Korea said that its prostate cancer therapy ZYTIGA (ingredient: abiraterone acetate) got reimbursement from the Ministry of Health and Welfare starting this month.
Coverage will apply to men with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) who had previously received docetaxel-containing chemotherapy.
Prostate cancer is the second fastest growing cancer type in Korea, with the number of patients rising around 8 percent each year. In the past decade, the incidence of prostate cancer rose 32 percent, from 52 out of 100,000 people in 2016 to 68 in 2015.
Both the incidence and mortality of prostate cancer in Asia and the Pacific are expected to more than double by 2030, Janssen said.
ZYTIGA is the first oral prescription medicine for mCRPC patients, which blocks all production pathways of androgen, testosterone, adrenal and prostate cancer cells. The therapy is indicated to treat mCRPC patients who failed chemotherapy, including docetaxel and mCRPC patients with asymptomatic or mild symptoms who have not gotten chemotherapy after hormone failure.
The ministry’s decision to offer insurance benefits to the drug was based on results from a global phase 3 COU-AA-301 trial that proved significant improvement in overall survival and progression-free survival, the company said.
"We are delighted to be able to provide new treatment options for patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer who have had limited available treatment options after chemotherapy,” said Jenny Zheng, CEO of Janssen Korea.
The National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines for treating prostate cancer currently recommend the therapy, the company added.
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