Home' Australian Pharmacist : March 2011 Contents 255
0.5 mg remained free of relapses
for one year, compared to 69% of
patients treated with interferon beta-1a
(p<0.001).4 In another two-year study
comparing Fingolimod with placebo,
it reduced the number of relapses
and brain lesions (a key measure of
inflammatory activity) and reduced the
probability of disability progression.5
Fingolimod 0.5 mg reduced the annual
relapse rate by 54% versus placebo
(0.18 vs. 0.40, p<0.001) and reduced
the risk of confirmed six month
disability progression by 37% versus
placebo over two years (12.5% vs.
1. Approved Product Information for Gilenya. Jan 2011.
2. Brinkmann, V. FTY720 (fingolimod) in Multiple Sclerosis:
therapeutic effects in the immune and the central
nervous system. British Journal of Pharmacology, 2009.
3. MS Australia website. www.msaustralia.org.au/
aboutms-faq.asp. Accessed 9 Nov 2010.
4. Cohen J. et al. Oral Fingolimod vs. Intramuscular
Interferon in Relapsing Multiple Sclerosis. NEJM, 2010.
5. Kappos L, et al. A Placebo-Controlled Study of
Oral Fingolimod in Relapsing Multiple Sclerosis.
A new therapy shown to significantly
improve survival rates and quality
of life for patients living with a fatal
form of blood cancer1 has been PBS
listed. Vidaza (azacitidine) 100 mg
injection was subsidised for patients
living with higher risk myelodysplastic
syndromes (MDS), low blast count
acute myeloid leukaemia and for
a subset of patients with chronic
myelomonocytic leukaemia. MDS are
a group of diseases that affect the
production of normal blood cells in the
bone marrow and progress to acute
myeloid leukaemia in around one third
Its incidence is increasing
with over 400 Australian patients dying
from the condition every year.3 The
PBS listing is based on a number of
randomised clinical trials1,4
the largest international trial conducted
of higher-risk MDS patients that
showed the median overall survival
for those treated with azacitidine is
24.5 months compared to 15 months
for conventional care regimens.
pivotal clinical trial results show the
percentage of patients living with MDS
alive at two years doubles from 26%
to 51% with azacitidine compared to
conventional care.1 The results also
show the therapy improves quality of
life by reducing the number of patients
requiring red blood cell transfusions.
1. Fenaux, et al. Efficacy of azacitidine compared with
that of conventional care regimens in the treatment of
higher-risk myelodysplastic syndromes: a randomised,
open-label, phase III study. Lancet Oncology 2009;20
2. The Leukaemia Foundation, Fact Sheet, Related Blood
3. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Australian
Cancer Incidence and Mortality (ACIM) Books.
4. Silverman L. Randomised controlled trial of azacitidine
in patients with the myelodysplastic syndrome: a study
of the cancer and leukaemia group B. Journal of
Clinical Oncology 2002;20(10):2429–40.
Johnson & Johnson
Johnson & Johnson Pacific has
launched the proton pump inhibitor (PPI)
Pariet 10 (rabeprazole) as a Pharmacist-
only (S3) medicine. The launch means
Australian pharmacists can now add
the rabeprazole to their repertoire
of treatment options for appropriate
customers. As rabeprazole is superior
This flu season, protect your
customers with Intanza®
Launched and pioneered in Australia less than a year ago,
Intanza® is the world’s first intradermal influenza vaccine.
Indicated for adults aged 18–59, Intanza® 9 μg is the first
influenza vaccine to utilise the immune role of the dermis.
The Intanza® 9 μg dose is as immunogenic as an
intramuscular flu vaccine (Vaxigrip 15 μg) and, because it is
delivered intradermally, can achieve a non-inferior immune
response despite using a smaller dose (0.1 mL versus 0.5
mL in intramuscular) and less antigen (9 μg versus 15 μg
in intramuscular).2 In addition to using a smaller dose and
less antigen, Intanza® uses a micro needle which at 1.5 mm long, is at least 10 times shorter than
standard IM vaccine needles.2
Intanza® stock for the upcoming 2011 flu season is now available. Pharmacists can contact their
preferred wholesaler to order Intanza or can contact sanofi aventis direct on 1800 732 273 with any
enquiries. More info: www.intradermalflu.com.au
®Registered trademark of Sanofi Pasteur, North Ryde, Australia.
Please review the Product Information before prescribing, located in the primary
advertisement in this publication.
1. Laurent PE et al. Evaluation of the clinical performance of a new intradermal vaccine administration technique and
associated delivery system. Vaccine 2007; 25: 8833–42.
2. Intanza Approved Product Information 9 mcg.
PBS information: This product is not listed on the
National Immunisation Program (NIP) or the PBS.
to H2As and antacids at stopping acid
reflux and heartburn, no treatment is
more effective at stopping heartburn
and acid reflux without a prescription.
According to J&J it is ideal for pharmacy
customers suffering frequent heartburn
(at least twice a week) and those
requiring short term therapy for the
relief of heartburn and acid reflux.
Brendan O’Loughlin of O’Loughlin’s
Medical Pharmacy in St Ives, Sydney
said, ‘The launch of Pariet 10 offers
pharmacists a unique opportunity to
initiate conversations with appropriate
patients about the suitability of their
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