I read today that Roche has announced that it has discontinued Zenapax (daclizumab sterile concentrate for injection), an IgG1 monoclonal antibody. They say that the decision to discontinue Zenapax is due to the diminishing market demand and the availability of alternative treatments and is not due to any safety issue. The existing supply of Zenapax is expected to be depleted by January 2010 based on current demand.
Zenapax has been used successfully to treat a number of patients with birdshot in the US who have failed to control their birdshot with other medications or been unable to tolerate the side effects of other drugs. It will leave a number of people who are prescribed this, angry, as the news about the withdrawal of this drug was at short notice and their doctors will now have to find alternative medication. Often this will not be straightforward as this drug will have been prescribed only after a number of the more usual combinations have been tried and have failed.
I do not believe that this medication has been widely used in the UK for birdshot treatment but it is a major blow that one of our speciaist arsenal of drugs has been removed though no real good reason other than economics.
If you have been affected by this decision by Roche we would welcome your feedback.