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Tafamidis: Approval denotes proven added benefit
Date:9/17/2012

Tafamidis meglumine (trade name: Vyndaqel) was approved in November 2011 for the treatment of transthyretin amyloidosis in adults. This rare disorder ("orphan disease") is caused by a defective gene and is associated with progressive nerve damage (neurological degeneration) that tafamidis is supposed to delay. According to 35a SGB (Social Code Book) V, an added benefit is regarded as proven if a drug for a rare disease - known as an orphan drug - has been approved. The German Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG) has assessed tafamidis at the request of the Federal Joint Committee (G-BA).

The scientific assessment by IQWiG has produced a hint of a positive effect of tafamidis on neurological degeneration.

Tafamidis compared with "best supportive care"

Transthyretin (TTR) is formed in the liver and is involved in the transport of the thyroid hormone, thyroxine. Mutations in the TTR gene can lead to transthyretin amyloidosis in which there is a build-up of an abnormally modified protein in various organs. These insoluble deposits result in a chronic disease that is associated with the progressive degeneration of the nervous system (polyneuropathy). In most patients, the transthyretin gene is modified at a particular site and this mutation is called "Val30Met". Tafamidis meglumine is approved for the treatment of transthyretin amyloidosis in adult patients with stage 1 neurological disorders to delay the progression of degeneration of peripheral nerves, e.g. in the arms and legs.

Treatment with tafamidis combined with "best supportive care" was compared with "best supportive care" alone. The term "best supportive care" means the therapy that provides the patient with the best possible individually optimized supportive treatment to alleviate symptoms and improve the quality of life, for instance the treatment of pain in polyneuropathy with other drugs (e.g. amitriptyline, gabapentin).

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Contact: Dr. Anna-Sabine Ernst
presse@iqwig.de
49-221-356-850
Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care
Source:Eurekalert

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