New Postpartum Depression Drug Presents Payer Challenges
March 28, 2019
The FDA’s recent approval of the first medication specifically aimed at treating postpartum depression — coming two weeks after the agency’s green light on March 5 for a nasal spray for major depressive disorder in adults (RDB 3/14/19, p. 1) — is again drawing a favorable response from clinicians. However, similar to the new nasal spray, payers again could face challenges. The postpartum depression drug, Zulresso (brexanolone) injection, expected on the market this summer, is costly; it must be administered as a 60-hour continuous intravenous infusion; and federal regulators again are imposing strict parameters for the medication’s use.