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Roche launches top selling eye drug Vabysmo in India


Roche Pharma India, a subsidiary of Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche, on Monday announced the launch of its much awaited blockbuster medication Vabysmo (faricimab) in India for treating neovascular or “wet” age-related macular degeneration (nAMD) and diabetic macular edema (DME) two leading causes of vision loss worldwide.

Roche declined to provide pricing details of Vabysmo in India, but said it has followed a tiered pricing model based on Indian economic status, which makes the drug cost much less than advanced countries. Roche said it is also closely working with the central and state governments and insurance companies, and helping patients to get access to Vabysmo treatment.

Sources told ET, that an annual cost of treatment with Vabysmo would cost anywhere between 2-4 lakh depending on the patient’s condition and frequency of doses.

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has recommended intravitreal injections as part of insurance, making Vabysmo eligible for the treatment.

Vabysmo launched in January 2022 has global sales of around $2.69 billion in 2023, and has beaten sales forecast for Roche.

Vabysmo, a bi-specific monoclonal antibody, with dual-pathway mechanism of action neutralises angiopoietin-2 (Ang-2) and vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF-A) to restore vascular stability for patients living with neovascular or “wet” age-related macular degeneration (nAMD) and diabetic macular edema (DME).Vabysmo offers better treatment durability with patients requiring eye injections at intervals of up to once in four months, while achieving similar vision gains and anatomical improvements.”The launch of Vabysmo marks our entry into the ophthalmology space in India, underscoring our commitment to bring the best-in-class innovations to the country,” said V Simpson Emmanuel, CEO and MD, Roche Pharma India.

“With fewer eye injections over time, while also improving and maintaining vision and anatomy, Vabysmo offers a more convenient and effective treatment schedule for patients, their caregivers and healthcare systems,” Emmanuel added.

More than 300 million patients globally and 11 million patients in India suffer from retinal vision loss.

Furthermore, in India, the prevalence of nAMD and DME stands at approximately 4 million.

Vabysmo was first approved by the USFDA in January 2022. It is today available in over 90 countries and more than 2 million doses have been administered till date.


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