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Australian Journal of Pharmacy : April 2005
product news ethical products type 2 diabetes, is now available on the PBS from 1 April. Glucovance is the first and only registered fixed combination product for this use, and directly addresses the dual defects associated with diabetes. It is an orally administered tablet that contains metformin HCl, which improves New diabetes combination G LUCOVANCE, a new combination medication for the treatment of insulin sensitivity in liver and muscle, and glibenclamide, which improves ß- cell function and restores insulin secretion. Clinical studies have shown that Glucovance provides significantly greater reductions in HbA1c compared to mono- therapies and co-administered com- binations, while improving compliance by reducing the medication burden. s on the PBS in 5mg, 10mg, 20mg, 40mg and 80mg strengths, at lower cost to patients due to lack of brand premium. Zimstat 5mg, 10mg and 20mg strengths are in calendar packs, as is the originator New Alphapharm listings Z IMSTAT, Alphapharm’s own generic simvastatin, is now available Pharmaceuticals, is the first major advance in levodopa delivery in 15 years, and is available on the PBS from 1 April 2005, with claims of offering a smoother and more constant delivery of levodopa, and improved symptom control for Parkinson’s disease patients. It targets end-of-dose ‘wearing off ’ by combining levodopa, the most widely used agent for treating Parkinson’s disease, with carbidopa and entacapone. While carbidopa reduces many of the side effects of levodopa, entacapone extends levodopa’s duration and benefits, permitting Parkinson’s disease patients to experience an improved ability to perform everyday tasks, as well as an improvement in symptoms associated with the disease. New levodopa therapy S s brand, to aid substitution. Other new PBS listings from Alphapharm include Lamogine (lamo- trigine), cross-licensed from GSK, and Zabel (terbinafine). All these products are ‘a’ flagged on the PBS and can be sub- stituted from 1 April New treatment for rheumatoid arthritis s A BBOTT Australasia has launched Humira, the first fully human biologic disease modifying anti- rheumatoid arthritis drug (DMARD). Humira has been shown to provide significant relief from the pain and inflammation of joint degeneration caused by rheumatoid arthritis. Humira will be listed on the PBS in Vaccine funding reduces shots T HE Federal Government has announced that it will provide funding for the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation’s recommend- ations to include injectable polio and chickenpox vaccines on the Australian StandardVaccination Schedule. The replacement of oral with injectable polio vaccine will enable the 256 ? THE AUSTRALIAN JOURNAL OF PHARMACY VOL 86 APRIL 2005 May 2004, for patients who have failed therapy on one or more DMARDs. Prescriptions must be written by a rheumatologist. use of a new six-in-one combination vaccine—Infanrix Hexa—that provides protection against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), hepatitis B, Haemophilus influenzae type b and polio. This new combination vaccine will mean many infants will receive one less injection at two, four and six months of age. s Unlike other biologic DMARDs, Humira offers patients once-fortnightly treatment via self-injection with a syringe designed for rheumatoid arthritis patients. Patients who are prescribed Humira can enrol in the InteRAct Support Program, which provides patients with materials to help them learn more about RA and educate them on self- injection. s TALEVO (levodopa, carbidopa and entacapone), according to Novartis