The FDA has approved the injectable treatment Orencia, a new drug that helps patients reduce the signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). There are an estimated 52 million US adults in the US diagnosed with some form of arthritis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Rheumatoid arthritis is characterized by the painful inflammation of the lining of joints that causes chronic pain, stiffness, and swelling. In the advanced stages of RA, patients experience a significant decrease in joint function and movement that can impact daily activities.
Orencia is a new drug that patients can self-inject to reduce the painful symptoms associated with RA. The medication comes in a premeasured dose to help patients administer the right dose every single time.
How Orencia Works
Orencia comes in a prefilled syringe or a convenient Autojector device that contains the active ingredient abatacept, which helps treat moderate to severe RA.
Abatacept is a selective costumulation modulator that inhibits the body’s T-cells from activating inflammatory responses caused by RA. This unique action essentially reduces abnormal inflammation that causes joint pain and reduced mobility in patients with RA. The design of the Orencia Autoinjector features a non-slip design that allows patients with severe joint damage to safely use the medication at home. During clinical trials, patients with signs and symptoms of RA noticed greater improvement in pain within 6 months of Orencia use, and a notable improvement in physical function within a year.
The most common side effects reported during clinical trials included headaches, respiratory infections, sore throat, and nausea. While Orencia showed significant improvements in RA, serious side effects such as the risk for developing infections increase with this therapy. Some of the other risks to consider include the possibility of developing cancer while on Orencia.
The Cost of Orencia
The price for one carton containing 4 prefilled Orencia syringes can cost around $3,900. Since Orencia is a new drug, there are no generics available, which may pose a barrier to some RA patients wanting to try this new therapy. The good news, however, is that HelpRx could help lower the high cost of this therapy by as much as 75% with our Orencia coupon.