Prestwick Pharmaceuticals

March 18, 2005 08:00 ET

Prestwick Pharmaceuticals Launches NITOMAN -Tetrabenazine- Patient Support Program in Canada; Drug Reimbursement and Pharmacist Support Services Provided for Eligible Patients


NEWS RELEASE TRANSMITTED BY CCNMatthews

FOR: PRESTWICK PHARMACEUTICALS

MARCH 18, 2005 - 08:00 ET

Prestwick Pharmaceuticals Launches NITOMAN
-Tetrabenazine- Patient Support Program in Canada;
Drug Reimbursement and Pharmacist Support Services
Provided for Eligible Patients

DUNDAS, Ontario--(CCNMatthews - Mar 18, 2005) -

Prestwick Pharmaceuticals Inc., a CNS specialty pharmaceutical company,
announced today the planned launch of the NITOMAN® Access Hotline in
Canada, a free telephone support service established to help patients
suffering from hyperkinetic movement disorders to explore reimbursement
options and obtain disease and treatment support in relation to NITOMAN
therapy.

NITOMAN, a dopamine depletor that works by selectively blocking
vesicular monoamine transporter 2 (VMAT2), is the only product approved
in Canada for the treatment of a series of hyperkinetic movement
disorders, including chorea associated with Huntington's Disease,
tardive dyskinesia and Tourette's syndrome. Approximately 50,000
Canadians suffer from these disorders, which are characterized by
excessive, involuntary and repetitive movements, which may involve the
face, limbs or the entire body.

Through the program, eligible patients will receive a free supply of
NITOMAN for six weeks. All patients will receive reimbursement
assistance, if required, which will include insurance benefits and
coverage verification, and prior authorization assistance.

Patient support services will include scheduled phone calls from
registered pharmacists to encourage compliance with the prescribed
dosing regimen and to discuss the potential side effects of therapy.
Additionally, to help ensure that patients receive optimal benefit from
treatment, pharmacists will collect information on dosing and treatment
experience for feedback to patients' physicians.

Patients or their physicians who are interested in initiating the
reimbursement assessment process should call the NITOMAN Access Hotline
at 1-888-NITOMAN (1-888-648-6626). NITOMAN therapy will be provided to
qualified Canadian patients who are in the process of obtaining either
public or private coverage, and meet the approved indication for NITOMAN
as well as the coverage criteria from public/private payors.

Tetrabenazine

In 2004, Prestwick Pharmaceuticals acquired the rights from Cambridge
Laboratories Ltd., UK, to commercialize tetrabenazine in Canada under
the brand name NITOMAN. Tetrabenazine is available in some European
markets and New Zealand as XENAZINE®. Tetrabenazine can have a
profound effect on chorea, with many patients demonstrating marked to
good improvement. Side effects can include drowsiness, insomnia,
akathisia and depression.

Prestwick Pharmaceuticals

Prestwick Pharmaceuticals, Inc., is an emerging specialty pharmaceutical
company that focuses on treatments for CNS disorders. The company has
multiple product candidates in clinical development for Huntington's
Disease, Parkinson's disease and schizophrenia. The company anticipates
filing a New Drug Application (NDA) for tetrabenazine with the U.S. Food
and Drug Administration (FDA) in the near future. Prestwick was granted
both fast track and orphan designation by the FDA for tetrabenazine as a
therapy for chorea associated with Huntington's Disease.

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Contact Information

  • FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:
    MCS Public Relations
    Carol Cartwright, 800-477-9626
    carolc@mcspr.com