First drug to treat alopecia OK'd by FDA

The first medicine to treat severe alopecia areata was approved by the Food and Drug Administration, and it was called baricitinib.

Every year, more than 300,000 people in the United States are affected by this autoimmune condition.

Alopecia causes patchy hair loss that can be temporary or permanent and can affect any hair-bearing region on the body, causing emotional discomfort.

High-profile examples including Hollywood actress Jada Pinkett Smith and Rep. Ayanna Pressley have brought the issue to light recently.

In a statement, FDA official Kendall Marcus stated, "Access to safe and effective treatment alternatives is critical for the considerable number of Americans impacted by severe alopecia."

"Today's approval will help patients with severe alopecia areata meet a huge unmet need."

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