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Australian Journal of Pharmacy : October 2006
product news ethical products ORAP discontinued J ANSSEN-CILAGhas discontinued ORAP (pimozide) 2mg tablets, due to the closure of the local manufacturing site, from October 2006. Pimozide is a typical antipsychotic used for treating patients with schizophrenia or related disorders. For patients currently treated with pimozide who, due to a lack of suitable alternative treatments, should remain on this treatment, Janssen-Cilag has made provision to continue to supply pimozide under the Special Access Scheme (SAS). The SAS product, supplied in 1mg and 4mg strengths will be made available for patients with schizophrenia or a related disorder and whose treated condition is already stable with pimozide as the prescribed medication, and for whom other medications have been ineffective or associated with adverse events. www.tga.gov.au/unapp/index.htm–sas ¦ Pegasys on PBS P Diabetes progression prevention studied ESULTS from a recent study have shown that the risk of developing type 2 diabetes can be reduced by 62 per cent in high-risk groups. The DREAM trial (Diabetes REduction Assessment with ramipril and rosiglitazone Medication) showed that Avandia (Rosiglitazone) could prevent the progression of pre-diabetes to type 2 diabetes. R EGASYS, (peginterferon alfa-2a), the only pegylated interferon treatment available for patients with hepatitis B, is now available on the PBS as of 1 October. As a section 100 item Pegasys is indicated for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B in adult patients with evidence of viral replication and liver inflammation and compensated liver disease. Through a dual mode of action (immunomodulatory and antiviral), Pegasys provides sustained virological remission with a defined treatment duration of 48 weeks. In two large multinational Phase III clinical trials, Pegasys achieved the highest rates of sustained virological remission compared to an alternate treatment, lamivudine, at 24 weeks post-treatment. ¦ New diabetes management system T Diabetes Australia president, Associate Professor Peter Little, welcomed the new findings: ‘We now have evidence for the role of a medication to assist in preventing more than half of type 2 diabetes in high risk individuals, but I must reinforce that intensive lifestyle change—both diet and exercise— remains the preferred first line strategy to prevent type 2 diabetes’. www.diabetesaustralia.com.au ¦ HE new MiniMed Paradigm Real-Time Insulin Pump and Continuous Glucose Monitoring System is the first therapy to integrate an insulin pump with real-time continuous glucose monitoring (CGM). Finger stick measurements only reveal a glucose value at a single moment in time, whereas real-time continuous glucose monitoring allows patients to anticipate what’s going to occur next. This combination of real-time CGM and insulin pump therapy is aimed at helping patients take immediate corrective or preventive action to maintain healthy glucose levels and delay or prevent diabetes-related complications. The new device integrates two components, a real-time CGM system and a MiniMed Paradigm insulin pump. Every five minutes, via a transmitter, the CGM system relays glucose readings from a glucose sensor to the insulin pump, which displays to 288 readings a day. Real-time glucose information displayed on the insulin pump allows patients to take immediate action to improve their glucose control after taking a confirmatory fingerstick. www.medtronic-diabetes.com.au ¦ 52 ? THE AUSTRALIAN JOURNAL OF PHARMACY VOL 87 OCTOBER 2006 2006 for the treatment of patients with HER2 positive early stage breast cancer following surgery. Herceptin targets a particular type of breast cancer which produces an increased amount of a protein molecule called human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2). The HER2 protein is associated with Breast cancer drug listed H more aggressive disease and a poorer prognosis. It is estimated that about 2,000 people will commence Herceptin in the first full financial year of listing for the treatment of early breast cancer. ¦ ERCEPTIN (trastuzumab) will be listed on the PBS from 1 October