Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Switch from Renagel to Renvela is coming...


Genzyme has announced the official switch date... September 30, 2009. All patients will be switched from Renagel to Renvela and Renagel will be officially discontinued. This was detailed this morning in AIS's Health Business Daily.

Renvela received FDA approval in October 2007 and was launched in March 2008. As with Renagel, the drug is a calcium-free, metal-free, non-absorbed phosphate binder indicated for control of serum phosphorus in patients with chronic kidney disease who are on dialysis. Unlike the original product, however, Renvela includes a carbonate buffer. Patients taking Renvela were more likely to achieve bicarbonate levels within recommended ranges and had a lower overall incidence of gastrointestinal (GI) adverse events than did patients on Renagel.. which was a significant draw back in the use of Renagel.

Renagel has been available for 9 years and is the leader with a 52% share of the phosphorous binding marketplace. The main competitors currently for Renagel/ Renvela are PhosLo and Fosrenol. Calcium Carbonate (TUMS) is used less often and aluminum-containing binders (popular in the past) are nearly extinct due to the poor side effect profile. Cost remains a significant issue and long term studies show mixed results...

Let the Phosphorous-Binding Wars continue... with an improved Renagel soon to be more widely utilized.

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