BlueCross BlueShield policy gives boost to Cynapsus
A recent on-line posting by the Pharmacy and Therapeutic Committee of BlueCross BlueShield of Mississippi indicates that Apokyn (apomorphine hydrochloride) is considered “medically necessary” for patients experiencing hypomobility, or “off” episodes, associated with advanced Parkinson’s disease as determined by a board certified neurologist.
Injections of Apokyn have been on the BlueCross BlueShield formulary since 2005 but this is the first time the policy document has been posted on-line, indicating that the drug is medically necessary.
Cynapsus (TSX-V:CTH) is developing its own formulation of apomorphine as an oral thin film strip. The company plans to file an Initial New Drug application with the FDA this year to conduct a bioequivalence study of its APL-130277 drug, compared with apomorphine by injection.
Since BlueCross BlueShield has determined the medical necessity of Apokyn, industry observers suggest that if Cynapsus can determine bioequivalence of APL-130277 through a study approved by the FDA, the drug would likely be added to most formularies across the U.S.
Cynpasus previously had a survey conducted of 11 large U.S. payers, including HMOs and insurers, to gauge the opinion and formulary acceptance of APL-130277. The results indicated that APL 130277 would be readily accepted on formulary by payers and reimbursed at price levels at or near the level that apomorphine injection is currently reimbursed.