KORSUVA® – First Approved Drug for Chronic Kidney Disease-associated Pruritis

Drug Review: Volume 23, Issue 4 (PDF)

Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is the gradual and irreversible loss of kidney function over several months to years. Chronic kidney disease-associated pruritis (CKD-aP) is a burdensome condition in which patients with CKD suffer from extreme itching of unclear cause. This condition is considerably prevalent in patients that are on hemodialysis. CKD-aPcan be debilitating to patients, negatively impact their quality of sleep and can cause severe skin lesions from constantly scratching resulting in infections.

Current clinical guidelines recommend the use of medications such as antihistamines (e.g Atarax) and gabapentinoids (e.g Lyrica). These medications are not Health Canada approved for CKD-aP, but are considered standard of care for most patients. However, these options may not offer full relief for all patients.

Korsuva® is the first Health Canada approved medication to treat CKD-aP. Korsuva® has a unique mechanism of action, targeting certain nerve and immune cells resulting in anti-itch and anti-inflammatory effects.

Clinical trials found that Korsuva® was able to effectively reduce the itch intensity and itch burden in patients with CKD receiving hemodialysis.

The annual cost of Korsuva® is considerably greater than the current standard of care. Therefore, Korsuva® will be placed under Special authorization for groups subscribed to ClaimSecure’s Managed Formulary.

Drug Name Korsuva®
Drug Ingredients
Annual Cost
Coverage Details
Special Authorization

ClaimSecure Inc. reserves the right to amend in part, or in its entirety, its Special Authorization guidelines.


  1. Korsuva® Product Monograph. Otsuka Canada Inc. August 2022.
  2. KDIGO 2019 Chronic Kidney Disease associated pruritus Guideline

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