At long last, there is a FDA approved drug specifically intended for the treatment of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. After several years of testing, and based on the results of the groundbreaking EXPLORER-HCM trial, Bristol Myers Squibb’s new drug mavacamten, being marketed under the brand name Camzyos, is now available to HCM patients.
However, you will not be able to go to your regular drug store and obtain a prescription of Camzyos: the drug is subject to a black box warning applicable to certain medications that have the potential to cause serious harm to the user. Camzyos will only be prescribed through a restricted program called the Camzyos Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS). The drug will also be sold only by certain specialty pharmacies which understand how the drug works and the risks that it can present. Also, there will be a screening for drug interactions as Camzyos may interact with other drugs you may be taking. Lastly, patients who are prescribed Camzyos will be required to undergo echocardiograms every 4 weeks for the first three months of treatment, and then every three months thereafter to ensure that the drug hasn’t moved the patient into heart failure.
Even with these restrictions and limitations, this is exciting news for patients with HCM. Hopefully the coming years will show increased safety data and expanded indications for Camzyos. And, we hope that the list price which is approximately $89,000 annually will not prove to be prohibitive. Bristol Myers Squibb has put into place a Patient Support program which will hopefully help make the drug and the necessary medical follow up affordable for most patients.
Here is the official Camzyos website for patients.
Here is the official Camzyos website for physicians.
Here is the REMS patient brochure that explains what kind of monitoring is necessary for patients to undergo and what conditions the patient must agree to in order to receive the medication.
Here is what is required to become a certified specialty pharmacy dispensing Camzyos.
And here are some past HCMBeat blog posts about mavacamten from the early days of the South San Francisco biotech company MyoKardia until today. As you can see, there is a lot to catch up on!