The first drug to treat Peyronie’s disease—an embarrassing and sometimes painful curvature of the penis—won approval from the Food and Drug Administration.
It estimates as many as 9 percent of men have the condition, which can make intercourse painful or impossible. “It’s a soul-destroying disease,” said Stan Hardin, a plumber who started the Association of Peyronie’s Disease Advocates after developing the condition. He said the approval offered hope to men, many of whom might now seek treatment. Named after the French physician who first described it in 1741, the condition is caused by the buildup of plaque under the skin of the penis.
The drug, Xiaflex, is made by Auxilium Pharmaceuticals. It's an enzyme, derived from a gangrene-causing bacterium, that breaks down collagen, the main component of the plaque.
Treatment with Xiaflex consists of a series of eight injections in the penis, spaced six weeks apart. Pain, swelling and bruising can develop in the injection area.
Xiaflex costs $3,300 an injection, so a full course of eight injections would cost about $26,000, in addition to a doctor’s fee. OUCH!
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