Xofluza, a new pill that can kill the flu virus in 24 hours with a single dose, has become the most-prescribed influenza treatment in Japan, which is suffering through its worst flu season in two decades.
The drug quickly gained the top share in Japan, according to Shionogi’s data, in part because of its ease of use. Roche’s Tamiflu, the best-known competitor, is generally taken twice a day for five days, while Xofluza is taken just once. A small number of patients report side effects such as diarrhea and bronchitis, according to Genentech.
The drug is still relatively little-used in the US, where the list price is $150 for patients without insurance. It was the first anti-flu medication approved in the US in nearly 20 years.