Vikram Hospital, in association with the UK-based speciality pharmaceutical company Britannia Pharmaceuticals, has launched ‘Apomorphine’ for the first time in the country.
According to the hospital, this powerful new drug stimulates the production of dopamine by nerve cells in the brain, providing quick and effective relief to patients and improving their quality of life. Apomorphine, available both as injections and infusion pumps, has been popular in the West for over 15 years in treating middle stages of Parkinson’s, but Indian patients could not benefit from it until now.
Dr Prashanth LK, Parkinson’s Disease & Movement Disorders Specialist, Vikram Hospitals said, “Currently in India, patients of Parkinson’s have only two options: either oral treatment for the early stages of the disease or very expensive Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) surgery for advanced stages. There was no treatment for the middle stages of the disease. Most patients in India cannot afford DBS. This procedure is also not a choice for all ages or stages of Parkinson’s Disease. Apomorphine is recommended for patients who have started to have motor fluctuations – that is, the effect of oral medications is not lasting long enough for them.”
“It is an effective alternative for patients who are not the right candidates for DBS, or those who do not want to undergo surgery yet. Introduction of apomorphine in India has given an important medical option to doctors in the middle stages of the management of Parkinson’s Disease and improve the quality of life of patients”.
Dr Somesh Mittal, CEO, Vikram Hospital, said, “Apomorphine, a highly selective dopamine receptor stimulator, is a long-awaited boon for patients. It is not an OTC medication, but has to be taken under the supervision of a Movement Disorder Specialist at specialised centres. Since the drug has just been launched in India, it will initially be distributed through select centres where well-trained movement disorders specialists are available. In due course, we aim to increase the distribution footprint to cover almost all movement disorder centres and neurology clinics across the country.”