Home' Australian Pharmacist : Australian Pharmacist May 2013 Contents 80
Australian Pharmacist May 2013 I © Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Ltd.
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MSD’s Victrelis (boceprevir) was PBS
listed in April for the treating chronic
viral hepatitis C (HCV), genotype 1 (G1)1,
the most common form of the condition
in Australia.2 The listing provides patients
with access to another option in the
treatment of hepatitis C, as currently
only 2% of people with the condition
are treated each year.3 Victrelis is a direct
acting anti-viral (DAA) belonging to
a class of agents for the treatment of
HCV called protease inhibitors. Its novel
mode of action allows it to directly attack
the virus, preventing replication.4–6
This prescription only medicine is added
to peginterferon alpha and ribavirin (PR)
for the treatment of HCV G1.4 According
to Associate Professor Simone Strasser,
Chair of the Digestive Health Foundation
the ultimate goal of treating HCV is
clearing the virus. ‘For the past decade or
so, we have not seen any new treatment
developments in this disease area,
leaving the HCV patient population with
limited treatment options’.
1. Data on file, MSD.
2. Hepatitis Australia. At: www.hepatitisaustralia.com Accessed
11 Mar 2013.
3. The Boston Consulting Group. The Economic Impact of
Hepatitis C in Australia. Jun 2012.
4. Victrelis Product Information. January 2013.
5. Berman K, Kwo PY. Boceprevir, an NS3 protease inhibitor of
HCV. Clin Liver Dis.2009 Aug;13(3):429–39.
6. Berenguer M, López-Labrador, FX. Boceprevir in the treatment
of chronic hepatitis C virus infection. Virus Adaptation and
Treatment. 22 Feb 2011.
More than one billion treatment courses
of pantoprazole have been administered
world-wide since its launch in 1994.1
In Australia, more than 40 million units of
the gastrointestinal product, registered
as Somac, have been distributed since
1995.2 During 2010–11, Somac was
Australia’s seventh most prescribed
PBS-listed medicine.3 According to
Professor Gerald Holtmann, Director of
the Department of Gastroenterology
and Hepatology, Queensland Health,
Princess Alexandra Hospital and Professor
of Medicine, University of Queensland,
this announcement marks a significant
milestone in the management of
gastrointestinal diseases.‘ This milestone
demonstrates a paradigm shift among
GPs. Pantoprazole has changed the way
GPs treat gastro-oesophageal reflux
disease (GORD), and has improved
the quality of life of many Australians
experiencing the disease. PPIs, and
pantoprazole in particular, have been
greatly beneficial in controlling symptoms
in patients with GORD, such as heartburn,’
Prof Holtmann said.
1. Periodic Safety Update Report No. 34 – pantoprazole. Oct 2012.
2. IMS Report. Nov 2012.
3. Aust Prescr 2012;35:189.
QR Health range
The makers of Hydralyte have introduced
a new range of effervescent vitamins
and supplements into pharmacies.
The QR Health range are effervescent
supplements quickly absorbed into the
bloodstream for fast activation of their
ingredients. The six products are: Q.R
Defence, Q.R Him, Q.R Her, Q.R Strength,
Q.R Energy and Q.R immunity. Q.R
Health says it has a dedicated team of
scientific and regulatory professionals
who regularly review scientific literature
to ensure each product in the Q.R Health
range provides doses that are safe and
effective. A natural solution for the
treatment of muscular aches and pains,
as well as soft tissue trauma, is being
offered for wider pharmacy distribution.
Fisiocrem SOLUGEL contains a
combination of natural plant extracts to
relive pain and soreness, but unlike some
natural products is not a homeopathic
dilution but rather concentrated pure
herb extracts. Sydney Olympics beach
volleyball gold medallist Kerri Pottharst,
the ambassador for Fisiocrem SOLUGEL,
said the product was wide used by
physiotherapists but was now being
made more widely available through
pharmacies. ‘I prefer to use natural
products available from outlets where I
am assured of their quality.’
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