Overall, patients treated with abatacept experienced significantly fewer disease flares compared to placebo patients – 20 percent on abatacept had flare while 53 on placebo did. If the child continued on abatacept, his risk of disease flare was one-third than that of children who withdrew from abatacept treatment.

Throughout the study adverse reactions were similar in type and frequency to those seen in adult patients. Infection occurred 36percent of the time in part one of the study. The most common infections were respiratory tract infection and nasopharyngitis. For additional information on adverse risks for both adalimumab and abatacept, speak with your child’s doctor.

Other benefits to approval

In addition to adding new treatment options to the market, FDA approval may mean increased financial access to these medications. With approval, insurers are more likely to consider covering the costs of these medications, says Dr. Lovell. That’s important to take into consideration because biologic prescriptions can cost thousands of dollars a year.

Manufacturers may also offer prescription assistance programs to make their medications more affordable. One non-profit clearinghouse for information on financial assistance information is the Partnership for Prescription Assistance, www.pparx.org. There, you can find information on both public and private financial assistance programs for which you may be eligible. You can also call 888-477-2669.

For more information on these medications and their possible suitability for treating your child, speak with your child’s doctor.