The generic of oral medication Vimpat Tab (ingredient name: Lacosamide) to treat epilepsy sets an unexpected record because it is covered by health insurance. The original drug isn’t still covered by health insurance.
The drug is ‘Vimsk Tab’, the generic of Vimpat Tab, made by SK Chemical.
The original drug is Vimpat Tab made by UCB Korea, but Vimsk Tab by SK Chemical was covered by health insurance among drugs with the same ingredients on 1st February for the first time. This is the first generic of Vimpat Tab approved in Korea. Vimsk Tab with 4 different doses are covered by insurance such as 50mg(435KRW per one tablet), 100mg(696KRW per one tablet), 150mg(871KRW per one tablet), and 200mg(1,016KRW per one tablet).
The approved Vimpat Tab generics are Neopat Tab made by Whanin Pharm, Lacopat Tab by Hyundai Pharm, Vimcosa Tab by Kolmar Korea, and Laco Tab by Myung In Pharm etc.
Vimpat Tab suppresses excessive excitation of neurons by promoting gradual inactivation of Na channels. It can be used as a supplement to treat epileptics aged over 16 with secondary generalized seizures or with partial-onset seizures. In the USA, the patients can be treated only by taking the drug itself.
Even though the Korean government approved Vimpat Tab with 4 different doses and Vimpat Syrup in 2010, UCB Korea has sold them without insurance coverage because the Korean government didn’t accept the prices that UCB Korea proposed.
The prices in Japan are higher than ones in Korea. Japan determined the prices of Vimpat Tab 50mg per one tablet for 215.6yen (about 2,200KRW) and 100mg per one tablet for 352yen (about 3,600KRW) in August 2016. In the USA, the actual prices can be low because of a discount coupon etc., but the prices that aren’t covered by insurance are about 7,200KRW for 50mg per one tablet and about 10,700KRW for 100mg per one tablet.
UCB Korea couldn’t accept the low prices and has continued to sell without insurance coverage. But now, the generics take the advantageous position in terms of prices and doses. Currently, the company is selling only Vimpat Tab with 2 different doses, 50mg and 100mg, but SK Chemical is selling Vimpat Tab with 4 different doses.
Given the fact that Vimpat Tab has been sold with relatively high price on the market, SK Chemical expects high demand on the generics.
SK Chemical will actively promote the Vimsk Tab that has price competitive edge and different kinds of doses. Representative Head of Pharma Business Group James Jeon said “I hope the quality of life of epileptics will be improved by covering the insurance of the drug.”
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