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Lyrica for neuropathy
Jun 1, 2007

I have recently been denied to receive Lyrica by my Medicare Part D carrier because my diagnosis is non-diabetic/non-postherpetic neuropathy. Can you explain the difference between the above-mentioned type and HIV-related neuropathy? Is there a valid medical reason for denying me this drug?

Response from Dr. Henry

Lyrica has not been approved in the US by the FDA for the treatment of HIV associated peripheral neuropathy whereas it has received approval (due to results of studies on safety and efficacy) for the treatment of diabetic and post-herpetic neuropathy. Those conditions share many features of HIV neuropathy so often drugs approved for diabetic/post-herpetic neuropathy have been used with some success in the setting of HIV infection (termed off label use). In the absence of study results that would lead to FDA approval for HIV -related neuropathy, often an appeal is made to a particular insurance company/program to try (pay for) off label use of a drug if alternative drugs/treatments have been tried and not effectve. KH

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