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A new Sickle Cell Disease Drug Holds Much Promise but Most Sufferers Won’t be Able to Afford it

The regulatory approval of a groundbreaking new Sickle cell disease drug in the United States by the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) sparked off plenty of hope and optimism earlier this month and the news that it is already heading for clinical trials in some African countries was also welcomed. But that optimism has been replaced by concerns the new treatment is priced beyond the reach of the majority of sufferers on the continent.

Swiss pharma giant Novartis announced this month the US FDA approved its new drug crizanlizumab, marketed as Adakveo, for adults and patients over 16 to start using the medication in a matter of weeks. In recent years Hydroxyurea has been the standard-of-care drug for the treatment of sickle cell disease’s pain crisis.