Today’s Solutions: February 08, 2023

Alopecia has been slapped into the collective consciousness as of late, so it only seems appropriate to share solutions surrounding this medical condition. 

Back in April of this year, we wrote about a potential treatment for alopecia that would help patients regrow hair. Dr. Brett King, an associate professor of dermatology at the Yale School of Medicine led a study that demonstrated the effectiveness of a medication called baricitinib. Out of the 1,200 participants in the study, a third that had received a more generous dose of baricitinib were able to regrow at least some of their hair.

Although there wasn’t yet an FDA-approved treatment for alopecia at the time of the study, baricitinib was of particular interest because it is already commonly used as a treatment for arthritis.

Now, following these promising results, baricitinib has received landmark approval as an FDA-approved treatment for severe alopecia areata. This makes it the first FDA-approved drug ever as a systemic treatment for this disease (meaning that the drug treats the entire body instead of specific areas).

The medicine is in the form of a pill to be taken daily by patients. The available doses will be one, two, and three milligram daily doses depending on how patients respond to the treatment and will be sold under the brand name Olumiant by the pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly.

“Today marks a milestone with the first-ever FDA-approved systemic treatment for alopecia aerate patients, who face significant challenges every day, including limited public knowledge about the disease, a lack of treatment options, and social stigma,” expressed Nicole Friesland, president and chief executive officer of the National Alopecia Areata Foundation (NAAF).

“The approval of Olumiant can spark hope for many patients and encourage new treatment conversations with their doctors. NAAF wants more choices for our patent community and with the approval of Olumiant, there are now new treatment expectations being established in alopecia aerate care,” Friesland added.

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