NEWEST TREATMENT FOR SCHIZOPHRENIA & RELATED PSYCHOTIC DISORDERS NOW AVAILABLE TO ALL QUEBECERS
ABILIFY™ reimbursed as a full benefit on the Quebec drug plans
MONTREAL, QUEBEC – October 26, 2010 –Bristol-Myers Squibb Canada is pleased to announce that Quebec has recognized the value of ABILIFY (aripiprazole) for the treatment of schizophrenia and related psychotic disorders in adults and has agreed to list ABILIFY as a reimbursed full benefit on the Quebec public drug plans as of October 14, 2010.
This decision recognizes the need for additional therapeutic options for patients and their physicians to treat these serious, complex and life-altering mental illnesses that cause great hardship to patients and their families, at great cost to society.
“It is a major challenge to ensure that every afflicted person has access to medication that will control the suffering caused by their illness without creating undesirable or harmful side effects,” says Odette Beaudoin, chair of Société québécoise de la schizophrénie. “The addition of Abilify to the list of medications should allow more people to control their disease better, improve their quality of life, get on the road to recovery, and become fully functioning members of society.”
More than 40% of patients stop taking their medication within the first year on current therapy, mainly because of treatment side effects. This situation leads to further problems including return of symptoms, relapse and hospitalization. When the disease is not effectively treated, it places a heavy burden on the quality of life of patients, families and caregivers and the health care system.
“From the standpoint of the psychiatrist, we welcome the addition of a new therapeutic option,” notes Dr. Marc-André Roy, associate professor of psychiatry at Université Laval and researcher and clinical psychiatrist at Institut universitaire en santé mentale de Québec. “While not a cure-all, this medication is important as it differs from other similar drugs on the market, offering a unique combination of advantages, namely a low propensity for weight gain and the option of taking a single daily dose, not necessarily with food. Based on our use of this medication in recent years, it is clear that it will occupy an important role in treatments to optimize quality of life and recovery in our patients suffering from psychotic disorders.”
Effective control of symptoms associated with social functioning
In randomized clinical trials, ABILIFY was found to improve positive, negative, depressive and cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia. It offers effective control for symptoms associated with social functioning and a good safety/tolerability profile compared to other antipsychotic medications. ABILIFY is also a less sedating medication that helps patients to return to the normal activities and have an active social life.
Limited impact on weight and metabolic factors such as cholesterol, lipids and blood sugar levels
ABILIFY is the latest and only third generation antipsychotic medication available in Canada. It is an effective and safe antipsychotic with a lower impact on metabolic factors such as cholesterol, lipids and blood sugar levels. It has also a limited impact onweightgainan important factor that may result in more people remaining on treatment longer.
BMS will continue to work with other provinces in the hope that they will follow Quebec’s lead in making ABILIFY available to Canadians by agreeing to reimburse it on their public drug plans.
ABILIFY™ (aripiprazole) is the latest and only third generation antipsychotic medication, available by prescription only. It has been approved by Health Canada for the treatment of schizophrenia and related psychotic disorders in adults. It is also indicated for the acute treatment of manic or mixed episodes of bipolar disorder in adults, alone or in combination with lithium or divalproex sodium.
About Bristol-Myers Squibb Canada
Bristol-Myers Squibb Canada is an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, a global pharmaceutical and related health care products company whose mission is to extend and enhance human life. Bristol-Myers Squibb Canada is a leading provider of medicines to fight cancer, cardiovascular and metabolic disorders, infectious diseases (including HIV/AIDS), nervous system diseases and serious mental illness. Bristol-Myers Squibb Company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the BMY symbol (NYSE:BMY). Bristol-Myers Squibb Canada's operations are headquartered in Montréal, Québec.