10 State Medicaid Programs Include Pheburane for Urea Cycle Disorders

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Current treatments for urea cycle disorders, which causes ammonia to build up in the blood, have a bitter taste and smell. Pheburane was developed with a special coating that masks the taste of sodium phenylbutyrate. It has a list price of $4,375 per bottle.

Four state Medicaid programs — Georgia, Indiana, Tennessee, and Missouri — have included Pheburane (sodium phenylbutyrate) on their drug lists. This brings the number of states to include Pheburane to 10. Six state Medicaid programs — Texas, Oklahoma, North Dakota, Utah, New Hampshire and New Mexico — had included Pheburane on their drug lists, the company announced in August 2023. California has included the drug on its Contract Drug List with no prior authorization.

Additionally, Pheburane is covered by commercial insurance plans, which now reaches about 80% of the commercially insured US population, including CVS Caremark, which considers it the preferred option over Buphenyl.

Pheburane was launched in September 2022 to treat urea cycle disorders (UCDs), a genetic condition that causes ammonia to build up in the blood. It is indicated for the long-term management of adults and children with urea cycle disorders.

Pheburane is an oral pellet formulation of sodium phenylbutyrate (NaPB) that was developed with a special coating that masks the taste of sodium phenylbutyrate. The bitter taste and smell of sodium phenylbutyrate, has well as the many pills of some brands, has impacted adherence to medication.

Pheburane was developed by Lucane Pharma and licensed to Medunik USA, which is a member of the Duchesnay Pharmaceutical Group. The wholesale acquisition cost of Pheburane is $4,375 for a bottle, which is 174 grams. Company officials said this is about one-third the price of Ravicti and half of the price of Olpruva, which are other available phenylbutyrate products used to treat UCD.

In addition, Medunik offers a patient program called UNIK Support Program, which offers specialized services including a copay savings program, patient care liaison services, mail order pharmacy and other support services.

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