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"The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday approved an alopecia treatment for kids..
The drug, ritlecitinib, is a once-daily pill for kids ages 12 and older with severe alopecia areata, a disease that develops when the body attacks the hair follicles, causing hair loss.
The medication will be sold under the brand name Litfulo, and is manufactured by Pfizer.
Pfizer said Litfulo will be available for consumers "in the coming weeks."
According to Pfizer, a full year supply of Litfulo has a list price of $49,000, similar to other specialty dermatologic treatments. The company said the actual cost to patients will vary based on individual health care plans.
"We are committed to helping patients access the treatments they need," Pfizer said in a statement.
"There will be copay savings for commercially insured patients and a patient assistance program for eligible patients to help achieve this. Through the Pfizer Dermatology Patient Access Program, eligible patients will be able to get support with access to LITFULO."
The medication has already been a game-changer for Maria Strattner, an 18-year-old with alopecia who took part in the clinical trial that led to the FDA's approval.
Within months of taking the medication, Maria Strattner's hair started to regrow, according to her mom, who said of her daughter's persistence, "Thank God that kid was smart enough not to give up."
Dr. Brett King, associate professor of dermatology at Yale School of Medicine and principal investigator of the clinical trial of ritlecitinib, described the FDA's approval of ritlecitinib as a "huge advancement" in the treatment of alopecia, describing the drug's effect as "nothing short of transformative."
"Over 24 weeks of treatment, about 30% of people participating in the trials regrew their hair. Remember, these are patients who at the start had 50% to 100% scalp hair loss. Often they had no scalp hair," King told ABC News. "And 24 weeks later, 30% of them have less than 20% [scalp hair loss] or complete scalp hair regrowth, and up to 48 weeks, that number rises to 40% of people achieving dramatic regrowth of hair."
Would you try it?
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My opinion on whether I would take these drug or not to come.