(BW HealthWire) — IDEC Pharmaceuticals Corporation (Nasdaq: IDPH) announced today that the Zevalin(TM) (ibritumomab tiuxetan) therapeutic regimen has been granted transitional pass-through status and special payment under Medicare’s Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). CMS will recognize pass-through payments for Zevalin in the October 2002 systems update.
Zevalin is the first radioimmunotherapy to receive FDA approval. Zevalin is indicated for the treatment of relapsed or refractory low grade, follicular, or transformed B-cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) including patients with Rituxan(R) (Rituximab) refractory follicular NHL.
In conjunction with pass-through status, two C-codes will be assigned for use in claims’ filing and reimbursement of the two radiolabelled components of the Zevalin therapeutic regimen, In-111 Zevalin and Y-90 Zevalin, when administered to Medicare beneficiaries in the hospital outpatient setting.
“We anticipated receiving pass-through status and corresponding C-codes for Zevalin in early July,” said William R. Rohn, IDEC’s President and Chief Operating Officer. “Nevertheless, we are gratified to learn that pass-through codes will be assigned to us in early October. While some Medicare patients have received treatment at selected freestanding imaging centers which are reimbursed under Medicare Part B, obtaining pass-through status in October should significantly broaden the availability of this important therapy for NHL patients.”
IDEC Pharmaceuticals focuses on the development and commercialization of targeted therapies for the treatment of cancer and autoimmune diseases. IDEC’s antibody products act chiefly through immune system mechanisms, exerting their effect by binding to specific, readily targeted immune cells in the patient’s blood or lymphatic systems.
Interested parties can access a live webcast of management’s discussion of the Medicare reimbursement status through a link at IDEC’s website at http://idecpharm.cdmail.biz. The webcast will begin today at 2:00 p.m. Pacific Standard Time and will remain available for 10 business days. IDEC Pharmaceuticals’ press releases are available at no charge through Business Wire’s News on Demand Plus. For a menu of IDEC’s current news releases and quarterly reports or to retrieve a specific release, call (888) 329-2309. On the Internet check the News Center at IDEC’s website: http://idecpharm.cdmail.biz.
The statements made in this press release contain certain forward-looking statements that involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Actual events or results may differ from IDEC’s expectations. For example, the timing, success and cost of preclinical research and clinical studies, the timing, acceptability and review periods for regulatory filings, the timing of and ability to obtain regulatory approval of products, the achievement of future product sales, the level of manufacturing performance and the risk factors listed from time to time in IDEC’s SEC filings including but not limited to its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2001 and Form 10-Q for the first quarter ended March 31, 2002, may affect the actual results achieved by IDEC. These forward-looking statements represent the company’s judgment as of the date of this release. The company disclaims, however, any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements.
IDEC Pharmaceuticals and Rituxan are registered U.S. trademarks of the company. Zevalin is a trademark of the company. The company’s headquarters are located at 3030 Callan Road, San Diego, CA 92121.CONTACT: IDEC Pharmaceuticals Corporation Vince Reardon, Director, Corporate Communications 858/431-8656
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