Are there any options for HIV+ patients who cannot get Egrifta to treat their belly fat?Nelson Vergel
|Anything Available for Those of us who cannot get Egrita?
Oct 4, 2011
Nelson, my insurance company refuses to pay for Egrifta after my doctor wrote a letter. I have a lot of visceral fat (18 pound increase in weight since I started HIV treatment). Is there any other option for me? I have a good job but cannot afford the $2000 per month cost of Egrifta.
|Response from Mr. Vergel
I am sorry that you have had such trouble trying to access Egrifta(Tesamorelin)which is indicated for the reduction of excess abdominal fat in HIV-infected patients with lipodystrophy. Egrifta is a growth hormone releasing hormone that makes your own pituitary gland release physiologic levels of growth hormone. Prior studies using growth hormone (Serostim) showed that visceral fat was effectively decreased by growth hormone, but GH caused side effects that made the FDA reject Serono’s application for lipodystrophy for Serostim. So Serono bought the rights of Tesamorelin from a Canadian company (Theracnologies) after it was shown that their growth hormone releasing hormone did not have the same concerning side effects (hypergylcemia, joint aches, edema, and others) that Serostim had. Egrifta got approved by the FDA but the FDA also required the company to engage in post approval studies to prove that the hormone did not increase incidence of cancer, since there is some fear that growth hormone products can do so.