A new formulation of the Jetrea intravitreal injection has been listed on Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), replacing the current powder form of the drug.
Jetrea Ready-To-Use (RTU), a pre-diluted formulation of ocriplasmin 0.375 mg/0.3 mL, was added to the PBS on 1 October. The single-use therapy, claimed to be a new class of medicine for chemical vitreolysis, is indicated for the treatment of vitreomacular traction (VMT) with or without macular hole of diameter less than or equal to 400 microns.
According to the drug’s NSW-based Australian distributor, I-Care Pharma Distributors, Jetrea RTU will take the place of Jetrea (ocriplasmin 0.5mg/0.2 mL), the powder form of the drug approved for intravitreal injection after dilution.
“The new formulation is easy to prepare, provides for faster administration of the treatment and can, after thawing and remaining in the original carton protected from light, be stored in a refrigerator at 2˚C to 8˚C for up to one week,” a spokesperson said.
Jetrea, a proteolytic enzyme, was first registered with the Australian Therapeutics Goods Administration on 2 November 2015 and received approval for the new 0.375 mg/0.3 mL formulation on 13 December 2017.
“The new formulation of [Jetrea] does not require prior 1:1 dilution with saline at the point of administration. The [distributor’s] submission claimed that it aimed to optimise the fill volume in accordance with posology and to eliminate the risks associated with the dilution,” the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee concluded in March, adding that the new form may also reduce wastage.
The I-Care Pharma Distributors spokesperson told Insight patient selection is an important factor when treating VMT with Jetrea. “Efficacy is reduced in patients with an epiretinal membrane or a diameter of vitreomacular adhesion greater than 1,500 microns.”
On the PBS, Jetrea RTU has a dispensed price for maximum quantity of $4152.12, and a max safety net and general patient charge of $40.30.