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Immune Thrombocytopenia

  • 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

  • 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.
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