- 11 Jul 2019
- 2 min read
Intas Pharmaceuticals (Indian drug maker) has launched an affordable drug Romiplostim (Romy) at one-fifth of the price of the currently available drugs for the treatment of Immune Thrombocytopenia (a chronic autoimmune blood disorder).
- Romiplostim represents the standard of care but has been available only internationally since 2008.
- Immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) is an autoimmune bleeding disorder characterized by abnormally low levels of platelets.
- Platelets are specialized blood cells that maintain the integrity of our blood vessel walls and help prevent and stop bleeding by accelerating clotting.
- As the platelet count falls, the risk of developing bleeding symptoms increases.
- In ITP, an abnormal immune reaction leads to destruction of the individual’s own platelets.
A child or adult with immune thrombocytopenia may display no symptoms (asymptomatic) or the symptoms may not appear until the platelet count is extremely low.
- Skin that bruises very easily and even spontaneously.
- A rash consisting of small red dots (petechiae) that represent small hemorrhages caused by broken blood vessels or leaks in a capillary wall.
- Bleeding from the gums, nose or any area of the body, e.g. in urine or feces
- Blood blisters on the inside of cheeks.
- Excessive and prolonged menstrual bleeding.
- The genetic cause of immune thrombocytopenia is unclear but this condition occurs when the body's own immune system malfunctions and attacks the body's tissues and organs (autoimmunity).
- Normally, the immune system produces proteins called antibodies, which attach to specific foreign particles and germs, marking them for destruction.
Immune Thrombocytopenia in India
- It is estimated that around 42,000 patients are diagnosed with ITP in India every year.
- Less than 10% of patients have access to the treatment, which is required to maintain adequate platelet counts for a longer duration.