- Jet lag sufferers take note: a drug designed to treat the condition has been delayed by the US Food and Drug Administration.
- Vanda Pharmaceuticals, which is developing the medicine, said it received the response on Friday, but plans to continue working to get the drug approved.
- At $US1,500 for a three-day dose, however, you might be better off sticking to regular sleep meds on your next intercontinental trip.
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A drug that purports to cure many of jet lag has been delayed much like your flight.
Vanda Pharmaceuticals, the Washington, DC-based firm behind Hetlioz, a new drug that may be able to help fight the sleep problems that come with intercontinental travel, said Monday that it received notice from the US Food and Drug Administration on Friday that its application for the medicine had not been approved.
“Vanda is perplexed by this conclusion,” it said in a press release, “given that millions of travellers who experience JLD every year recognise that JLD is characterised by disruption of nighttime sleep and/or sleepiness during the day due to rapid travel across time zones.”
According to the company, patients reported “sleeping nearly three hours longer” for the three nights after a transatlantic trip after taking to the drug. But its letter to Vanda, the FDA said the drug’s results thus far have been “of unclear clinical significance,” according to Vanda’s press release.
There aren’t any currently approved drugs that specifically target jet lag, leading travellers to rely on treatments like both over-the-counter and prescription sleeping pills, as well as things like light therapy, according to Mayo Clinic.
Vanda says it plans to keep working with federal regulators to get the treatment approved, but don’t get too excited just yet. Even if the drug gets the government green light, it could cost up to $US1,500 for a three-day dosage, analysts estimate.
“Given Hetlioz’s orphan pricing in Non-24, we had estimated the cost for 3 days of therapy for JLD would have been approximately ~$US1,500, much higher than OTC and/or Rx sleep products which are typically used,” Derek Archila, an analyst at Stifel, told clients in a note Monday.