Alkermes PLC’s Aristada (aripiprazole lauroxil) injectable medication has won approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as an extended-release injectable suspension to treat schizophrenia.
The drug has now gained FDA approval in four different doses and three dosing duration choices (monthly, every six weeks or bi-monthly), extending what the company describes as “an unprecedented range of flexibility to patients and health care providers.”
One common difficulty in medication administration is dosage adherence. With the new formula, consumers can relinquish the responsibility of coping with daily dosing, freeing them to focus on other treatment aspects — especially for individuals transitioning from inpatient to outpatient care, according to one doctor.
“Transitioning patients with schizophrenia … can be challenging,” Dr. Joseph McEvoy, Duke University Medical Center’s professor emeritus of psychiatry and behavioral health, said. “The availability of an antipsychotic that can be initiated prior to hospital discharge and provide therapeutic levels of medication for two months will be a welcome new treatment option for healthcare providers, caregivers and patients.”
McEvoy added that practitioners are now trending toward longer-lasting formulations as the medical community gains awareness of “the benefits of less-frequent dosing and the resulting ability to focus on other important treatment goals for patients.”
Global biopharmaceutical firm Alkermes develops medications to address central nervous system diseases. International operations are based in Dublin, Ireland, while U.S. headquarters are located in Waltham, Massachusetts.