Tuesday, April 16, 2024

ZURZUVAE The New Breakthrough for Postpartum Depression Treatment

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In a groundbreaking development, Biogen Inc. and Sage Therapeutics, Inc. have jointly announced the availability of ZURZUVAE™ (zuranolone) 50 mg as an oral treatment for postpartum depression (PPD) in the United States. This remarkable treatment, a first of its kind, offers a 14-day course demonstrating rapid symptom improvement, with significant benefits seen as early as Day 3 and substantial relief by Day 15.

Dr. Kristina Deligiannidis, a principal investigator in the ZURZUVAE clinical development program and Professor at The Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research in Manhasset, New York, emphasized the importance of early symptom improvement for women with postpartum depression. She stated, “For women with PPD, delayed improvement in depressive symptoms can significantly worsen outcomes. Having an option like ZURZUVAE that can work at Day 15 and improve symptoms in as early as three days has the potential to make a profound difference in the lives of women with PPD.”

Obstetrician/Gynecologist Dr. Quinn Peeper, practicing at City Crescent Physicians in New Orleans, highlighted the significance of initiating discussions about mental health during post-birth follow-up appointments. She noted, “A treatment like ZURZUVAE provides us with a new option to help address the needs of women with PPD.”

ZURZUVAE’s Impact on Maternal Mental Health Access and Advocacy

To ensure broad and equitable access to ZURZUVAE, Biogen and Sage are actively engaging with national, regional, and government payors. While insurance coverage decisions may take time, the companies have launched the “ZURZUVAE For You” patient support program. This program offers educational resources, assistance with understanding insurance coverage, guidance through the prescription fulfillment process, and financial assistance, including a copay assistance program, ensuring eligible patients have access to the treatment.

To enhance accessibility further, the companies have partnered with leading national specialty pharmacies, facilitating the direct shipment of ZURZUVAE to prescribed patients. Wendy N. Davis, Ph.D., PMH-C, Executive Director at Postpartum Support International, emphasized the need to prioritize maternal mental health. She stated, “PPD should not be treated as an afterthought. We must embrace women’s care and increase access to effective care. Treatments like ZURZUVAE are a signal of hope that we’re one step closer to prioritizing maternal mental health.”

Postpartum Depression

 

Advancing Access to Postpartum Depression Treatment and Support

PPD is a debilitating condition characterized by negative mood changes and impaired functioning, affecting women of all backgrounds. However, it is more prevalent among minority populations and those with limited access to healthcare. Biogen and Sage are actively working to raise awareness about the importance of early PPD treatment and removing barriers that hinder access to such treatment.

Alisha A. Alaimo, President of Biogen’s North America Organization, expressed their commitment to supporting women with PPD and the significance of ZURZUVAE as the first oral therapy specifically indicated for this condition.

Chris Benecchi, Chief Business Officer at Sage Therapeutics, emphasized the importance of access to ZURZUVAE and the role of support programs. He stated, “Our support programs aim, where possible, to help women with postpartum depression who are prescribed ZURZUVAE to have little to no copay and to provide product at no cost for eligible patients with no insurance, as we believe that lack of insurance or financial means should not be a barrier to treatment access.”

 

Resource: Biogen, December 14, 2023

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