Results from post hoc study may bolster current use of Veltassa among older patients with CKD-HK, says GlobalData

A post hoc analysis of the multicenter AMETHYST-DN study found that the use of Vifor Pharma’s Veltassa (patiromer) significantly reduced serum potassium in patients ages 75 years and older with chronic kidney disease (CKD)-related hyperkalemia (HK). This study could be of high clinical value to physicians with elderly patients looking to find an optimal treatment of choice for HK, which may bolster the current use of the drug among older patients with CKD-HK, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Kajal Jaddoo, Pharma Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “The majority of treatments for CKD are taken for life, which is a huge financial burden on the patients receiving them. In the US, the progression from CKD stage 3 to CKD stages 4–5 can be associated with annual health care costs of $20,110–$100,593 per patient for renal services and therapies. Therefore, patients have faced issues gaining access to more expensive therapies.”

There are currently two well-tolerated potassium binders available in this space, Veltassa and AstraZeneca’s Lokelma, but unmet needs remain. Key opinion leaders (KOLs) interviewed by GlobalData emphasized the need for a drug that can offer flexibility in adjusting the dosage, because there are concerns that major reduction in potassium levels could lead to patients suffering from hypokalemia.

Jaddoo adds: “Despite Veltassa’s preferable profile compared to sodium polystyrene sulfonates, several KOLs confirmed that the issues of access, reimbursements, and high cost have continued to restrict its use. However, they agreed that it will be difficult for drug developers to enter and compete against Veltassa in the CKD-HK market due to Veltassa’s robust positive clinical data, post-marketing data, and preferable patient compliance.”

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