October Blog: Coming to a Pharmacy Near You – A New Severe Hypoglycemia Treatment

Guest Contributors: Lashonta Luvene, Victoria Oshunkentan

Recently, FDA approved Gvoke HypoPenÔ, a ‘ready to use’ glucagon injection pen for the treatment of dangerously low blood sugar. Sounds interesting, so let’s jump in and gain some awareness on this new cutting edge drug! Who makes this drug? Gvoke HypoPen™ is manufactured by Xeris Pharmaceuticals. It is a pre-filled syringe that contains a room temperature, liquid-stable form of glucagon. The drug is auto-injected when pressed against the body, very similar to how an EpiPen works to treat severe allergic reactions. This medication can be used in individuals > age of 2 with type 1 or type 2 diabetes.

What exactly does glucagon do in our body? The glucagon works to quickly increase the blood sugar by signaling the liver to release its stored sugar into your bloodstream. For years, the challenge has been the glucagon emergency kit requirement of mixing powder and liquid. Imagine how difficult it would be to mix with increased adrenaline pumping in your body as you see a loved one or a friend lying on the ground with low blood sugar. With Gvoke HypoPen™, the intimidation of mixing drugs and making potential mistakes is gone!

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Things to know:

  • Available in two doses: (1) 0.5 mg/0.1 mL single-dose for pediatric patients (2) 1 mg/0.2 mL single-dose for adolescents and adults
  • Dosage forms: Gvoke HypoPenÔ (auto injector) and GvokeÔ pre-filled syringe (PFS)
  • Retail cost: $280.80 cash price per syringe
  • Administered by subcutaneous injection into lower abdomen, outer thigh, or outer upper arm

Here are just a few reasons Gvoke is so great:

  • Ready-to-use auto injector
  • Easy to manage
  • No refrigeration required
  • Can be stored at room temperature
  • Has shelf life of two years
  • Available in 2 doses for adults and kids
  • Comes in either a single pack or in a convenient 2-pack
  • Packaging allows you to keep one on hand and the other at home, school, or work.

The Gvoke HypoPen™ will be released at some point in 2020 while Gvoke™ PFS is available now. If interested in this medication, speak to your healthcare provider. Insurance coverage has not yet been announced. However, Xeris Pharmaceuticals plans to launch a co-pay assistance program to enable out-of-pocket costs ranging from roughly $0-$40 for a pack of two.



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