Earlier this month, the FDA approved a drug that the manufacturer touts as “the first-and-only twice-yearly injectable for the treatment of schizophrenia in adults.” Drug benefits experts say it could be a good option for patients who have previously been on extended-release drugs for the schizophrenia — with careful monitoring — and will likely be covered similar to existing long-acting treatments. The drug is called Invega Hafyera (six-month paliperidone palmitate), a product produced by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a Johnson & Johnson unit. It received FDA clearance on Sept. 1 after a randomized, double-blind, non-inferiority Phase III global study that enrolled 702 adults living with schizophrenia from 20 countries, which found that 92.5% of patients treated with Invega Hafyera were relapse-free at 12 months.
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