The FDA just approved the first new flu treatment in 2 decades

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  • The FDA just approved the first new flu treatment in nearly 20 years.
  • The drug, Xofluza, can be used to treat the flu in people 12 years and older who have had symptoms for no more than two days.
  • While there are flu treatments available, the FDA said it’s important to keep in mind that the drugs don’t replace the flu vaccine, which is used to prevent the disease.

With flu season underway, the Food and Drug Administration just approved a new treatment to add to the arsenal of ways to treat the virus.

The drug, Xofluza, is made by Genentech, and it’s the first new flu drug the agency’s approved in nearly two decades. The price tag will be set at $150.

It’s meant to be taken as a single pill within the first two days people 12 years and older start to experience flu symptoms, as a way to reduce symptoms and shorten how long the illness lasts.

“With thousands of people getting the flu every year, and many people becoming seriously ill, having safe and effective treatment alternatives is critical. This novel drug provides an important, additional treatment option,” FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a news release Wednesday. Gottlieb also noted that it’s important to keep in mind that the drugs don’t replace the flu vaccine, which is used to prevent the disease.

Currently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends three antiviral drugs to treat flu: Tamiflu, Relenza, and Rapivab.

A spokeswoman for Genentech told Business Insider that the wholesale acquisition cost of Xofluza is $150, in line with what Tamiflu costs. Genentech is also providing a coupon for commercially insured patients that brings down the cost of the dose to $30.

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Source: Business Insider

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