Jaguar Health, Inc. (NASDAQ:JAGX) today announced that the company's wholly owned subsidiary, Napo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ("Napo") is launching a program to educate insurance companies about the benefits of Napo's plant-based Mytesi (crofelemer) prescription drug and negotiate better access to Mytesi for commercially insured patients.
A non-opiate antidiarrheal indicated for the symptomatic relief of noninfectious diarrhea in adult patients with HIV/AIDS on antiretroviral therapy, Mytesi is the first and only natural, oral drug approved under U.S. Food and Drug Administration Botanical Guidance. Crofelemer, the active ingredient in Mytesi, is a non-opioid botanical (plant-based), drug extracted and purified from the red bark sap of the medicinal Croton lechleri tree in the Amazon Rainforest.
"We're excited to roll out this key component of our enhanced Mytesi market access strategy for the first time and begin engaging select payors in contracting discussions with the objective of removing barriers for patients in order to allow them to more easily start on - and stay on - Mytesi," stated Ian Wendt, Jaguar's vice president of commercial strategy. "We believe this initiative represents an untapped commercial opportunity to employ a strategic mechanism that is well-established in the U.S. pharmaceutical industry to help patients access Mytesi."
As previously announced, Napo expanded the NapoCares Patient Support Program for Mytesi last month as part of the company's enhanced market access strategy. The expansion meaningfully increased co-pay support for commercially insured patients, which includes allowing the co-pay amount to remain the same whether a patient fills a 30-day or a 90-day prescription of Mytesi. The expansion also increased the income ceiling from two times the Federal poverty limit to five times the Federal poverty limit, which will allow more low-income patients to receive Mytesi at no cost. The co-pay program and patient assistance program are components of a comprehensive suite of patient support services Napo is rolling out in the current quarter with the support of AssistRx, a patient hub services provider.