Home' Australian Pharmacist : January 2011 Contents Vol. 30 -- January #01
1. Department of Health and Ageing, August 2010 PBAC
Outcomes -- Positive Recommendations. At: www.
pbacrec-aug10-positive. Accessed on 23 Nov 2010.
2. Tykerb Product Information v3 2010. At: www.gsk.com.
3. Media release 13 May 2008, The Hon Nicola
Roxon MP, Minister for Health & Ageing. At: www.
$File/08_Health013.pdf. Accessed 23 Nov 2010.
4. Medicare Late Stage Metastatic Breast Cancer
(Herceptin) Fund. At: www.medicareaustralia.gov.
Accessed on 23 Nov 2010.
5. Geyer et al. N Engl J Med 2006;355:2733--43.
6. Pharmaceutical Benefits Schedule, At: www.pbs.gov.au
Accessed on 23 Nov 2010.
7. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare & National
Breast and Ovarian Cancer Centre 2009. Cancer series
no. 50. Cat. no. CAN 46. Canberra: AIHW. At: www.
10852.pdf. Accessed on 24 Nov 2010.
8. Breast Cancer in Australia: an overview, 2009
Associate Professor John Amerena,
Director of Geelong Cardiology
Research Unit, Deakin University
said, 'Simplicity is essential in the
management of hypertension and this
is where medical innovations are so
important. Not only does EXFORGE
HCT provide a new option for patients,
it also simplifies their medical regimen
by combining three molecules into
one. Single-pill combinations improve
a person's ability to adhere to their
treatment compared to the use
of multiple pills.5,6 Having a triple
combination now available provides
healthcare professionals with a useful
More than six out of 10 people who
are taking antihypertensives have
blood pressure readings above the
normal range, which keeps them at
elevated risk of future events.7 The
National Heart Foundation's Guide
to Management of Hypertension
2009 states between 50% and 75%
of people with high blood pressure
will not achieve recommended blood
pressure targets with a single type
of antihypertensive medication. Most
will need two or more therapies to
EXFORGE HCT is indicated only as
substitution therapy for the treatment
of hypertension in patients whose
blood pressure is already adequately
controlled on the triple combination
of amlodopine, valsartan and
hydrochlorothiazide taken either as
three single component formulations
or as dual-component formulation with
a single-component formulation all
components at the same dose level.
Treatment should not be initiated
with fixed-dose combinations.2 It is
available on the PBS for hypertension
in a patient who is not adequately
controlled with any two of the drugs
in the combination.1 The Approved
Product Information for EXFORGE
HCT is available at: www.novartis.
1. Australian Government Department of Health &
Ageing. Schedule of Pharmaceutical Benefits Nov 2010.
Commonwealth of Australia 2010.
2. Approved Product Information for EXFORGE HCT 1 Apr
3. Calhoun D, et al. Amlodipine/Valsartan/
Hydrochlorothiazide Triple Combination Therapy
in Moderate/Severe Hypertension: Secondary
Analyses Evaluating Efficacy and Safety. Adv Ther
4. Calhoun D, et al. Triple Antihypertensive Therapy with
Amlodipine, Valsartan and Hydrochlorothiazide. A
Randomised Clinical Trial. Hypertension 2009;54;32--9.
5. Chrysant SG. Using fixed-dose combination therapies
to achieve blood pressure goals. Clin Drug Investig
6. Gerbino PP, Shoheiber O. Adherence patterns among
patients treated with fixed-dose combination versus
separate antihypertensive agents. Am J Health Syst
7. National Institute of Clinical Studies. Practice Gaps
Report, Vol. 2. 2005, NICS Melbourne.
8. National Heart Foundation of Australia (National Blood
Pressure and Vascular Disease Advisory Committee).
Guide to Management of Hypertension 2008. Updated
Aug 2009. Web version. 2009.
EXFORGE HCT, a once daily, triple
[amlodipine (as besylate)/valsartan/
hydrochlorothiazide] is now available
on the PBS for patients who are not
adequately controlled with any two
of the drugs in the combination.1
It combines into a single daily pill
three antihypertensive therapies
with complementary treatment
mechanisms.2 In an eight week,
randomised, double-blind trial of
2,271 patients with moderate to
severe hypertension (n=2,271)
EXFORGE HCT generated reductions
in systolic blood pressure greater than
50mmHg (range from 43.4mmHg to
Significantly more patients achieved
control of their blood pressure
(<140/90 mmHg) with EXFORGE
HCT (70.8%) compared with each
of the dual therapies (48.3% for Val/
HCTZ, 54.1% for Aml/Val and 44.8%
for Aml/HCTZ; p<0.0001).4 In all
treatment groups, the full blood
pressure-lowering effect was seen
after two weeks at maximal dose
From 1 February 2011, Nicabate,
will be PBS listed. Known as
Nicabate P, it is the only PBS listed
nicotine replacement therapy (NRT)
indicated for pre-cessation use, the
most effective way to quit using
a patch.1,2,3,4 Pre-cessation use
of Nicabate P helps smokers to
gradually cut down smoking for two
weeks before eventually stopping
altogether. Quitting this way almost
doubles the chances of successfully
quitting compared to quitting abruptly
with a patch.1,2,3,4 While Nicabate P
will be available on the PBS next
month; the full range of products
will still be available in pharmacies
and supermarkets. Nicabate patches
contain the patented Smart Control
system, which releases a sustained
controlled amount of nicotine over
a 24 hour period, providing 24
hour relief from cravings. Nicabate
Smart Control Technology provides
therapeutic nicotine over two phases --
the first ensures an immediate release
of nicotine when the patch is applied
and the second ensures sustained
nicotine release steadily over a
24 hour period. All patients using
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