Orgovyx Offers Oral Option for People With Prostate Cancer

People being treated for advanced prostate cancer now have a new oral option, offering patients the ability to not have to visit a provider for administration — an especially welcome alternative during the COVID-19 pandemic. And a recent Zitter Insights survey indicates that the majority of oncologist respondents likely will prescribe it, with many saying they expect to favor it over the current standard of care.

On Dec. 18, the FDA approved Myovant Sciences GmbH’s Orgovyx (relugolix), a gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) receptor antagonist, to treat adults with advanced prostate cancer. Dosing for the new drug is a loading dose of 360 mg on the first day of treatment and then one 120 mg tablet daily.

Treatment of advanced prostate cancer usually involves androgen deprivation therapy, and the current standard of care is luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) receptor agonists, such as leuprolide acetate, which is administered by a health care provider as an injection or implant. Dosing options are every month, every three months, every four months or every six months.

Richard Pazdur, M.D., director of the FDA’s Oncology Center of Excellence and acting director of the Office of Oncologic Diseases in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said in a statement that “this potential to reduce clinic visits can be especially beneficial in helping patients with cancer stay home and avoid exposure during the coronavirus pandemic.”

For the Managed Care Oncology Index: Q3 2020, between Aug. 26, 2020, and Sept. 30, 2020, Zitter surveyed 50 commercial payers about their anticipated management of Orgovyx within six months of availability. Those with 89% of covered lives said they were likely to manage the drug to label.

During the same time frame, Zitter surveyed 100 oncologists, and 77% said they were likely to prescribe Orgovyx, with 62% saying they were likely to prescribe the new drug over leuprolide acetate (see chart below).

For more information on the Zitter data, contact Jill Brown Kettler at jbrown@aishealth.com.

Angela Maas

Angela has an extensive background of editing, reporting and writing for trade and consumer publications. She has written Radar on Specialty Pharmacy (formerly called Specialty Pharmacy News) since she joined AIS Health in 2005 and has broad knowledge of the various issues at play within the space. Before joining AIS Health, she was managing editor at Employee Benefit News and Employee Benefit News Canada and managing editor at HemAware (a hemophilia publication), Lupus Living and Momentum (a multiple sclerosis publication). She has a B.A. in English and an M.A. in British literature from Arizona State University.

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