Manitoba covers new treatment to help prevent nausea and vomiting in chemotherapy patients



    MONTREAL, Sept. 15 /CNW Telbec/ - Cancer patients living in Manitoba now
have better access to EMEND(TM) (aprepitant) an effective oral medicine for
prevention of nausea and vomiting triggered by some types of chemotherapy. The
government of Manitoba has included EMEND(TM) (aprepitant) on the Manitoba
Drug Benefits Formulary effective September 15, 2008, less than a year after
the drug was approved by Health Canada. Aprepitant will be reimbursed for the
prevention of acute and delayed nausea and vomiting due to highly emetogenic
cancer chemotherapy, or for the prevention of nausea and vomiting in women due
to treatment with moderately emetogenic cancer chemotherapy consisting of
cyclophosphamide and anthracycline, who have experienced emesis despite
treatment. Highly emetogenic chemotherapy is therapy that causes most patients
to vomit if they do not receive antiemetic medicine prior to their treatment.
Discovered and developed by Merck, aprepitant is the first in a new class of
medicines (neurokinin-1 (NK(1)) receptor antagonist), indicated in combination
with additional therapies for the prevention of acute and delayed nausea and
vomiting triggered by chemotherapy.
    "Delayed nausea and vomiting are two common complications of cancer
chemotherapy and can have a major impact on the quality of life of patients
and on the success of chemotherapy," said Dr. Michel Cimon, Medical Director
at Merck Frosst Canada. "With this decision by the government of Manitoba,
cancer patients living in this province will now have better access to
aprepitant to prevent these worrisome and challenging side effects of
chemotherapy before they occur. Reducing chemotherapy induced nausea and
vomiting, contributes to the success of cancer therapy by preventing
dehydration and permitting the continued, timely administration of optimal
doses of chemotherapy which can make a real difference for these patients. "
    Beginning on the first day of the first cycle of chemotherapy, aprepitant
is added to an antiemetic treatment regimen intended to reduce or eliminate
nausea and vomiting in patients receiving highly and moderately emetogenic
chemotherapy(1).

    Nausea and vomiting remain a significant burden for cancer patients

    Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting remains a significant, cancer
care-limiting problem despite the development of new treatment entities in the
last 12 years.(2) In the absence of anti-emetic prophylaxis, chemotherapy
agents with highly emetogenic potential will cause chemotherapy-induced nausea
and vomiting in over 90% of patients receiving them.

    Information about EMEND(TM)

    EMEND(TM) (aprepitant) was approved by Health Canada in October 2007 and
is indicated in combination with a 5-HT3 antagonist class of antiemetics and
dexamethasone for the prevention of acute and delayed nausea and vomiting due
to highly emetogenic cancer chemotherapy and for the prevention of nausea and
vomiting in women due to treatment with moderately emetogenic cancer
chemotherapy consisting of cyclophosphamide and anthracycline.(1) The
recommended dosing regimen is EMEND(TM) 125 mg orally 1 hour prior to
chemotherapy treatment (Day 1) and 80 mg once daily in the morning on days 2
and 3.(1)

    About Merck Frosst Canada Ltd.

    At Merck Frosst, patients come first. Merck Frosst Canada Ltd. is a
research-driven pharmaceutical company discovering, developing and marketing a
broad range of innovative medicines and vaccines to improve human health.
Merck Frosst is one of the top 25 R&D investors in Canada, with an investment
of close to $110 million in 2007. More information about Merck Frosst and
EMEND(TM) is available at www.merckfrosst.com

    Forward-looking statement

    This press release contains "forward-looking statements" as that term is
defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These
statements are based on management's current expectations and involve risks
and uncertainties, which may cause results to differ materially from those set
forth in the statements. The forward-looking statements may include statements
regarding product development, product potential or financial performance. No
forward-looking statement can be guaranteed, and actual results may differ
materially from those projected. Merck undertakes no obligation to publicly
update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information,
future events, or otherwise. Forward-looking statements in this press release
should be evaluated together with the many uncertainties that affect Merck's
business, particularly those mentioned in the cautionary statements in Item 1
of Merck's Form 10-K for the year ended Dec. 31, 2006, and in its periodic
reports on Form 10-Q and Form 8-K, which the Company incorporates by
reference.

    
    ----------------------------------------------
    (1) EMEND(TM) Product Monograph
    (2) Lachaine J, Yelle L, Kaizer L, Dufour A, Hopkins S, Deuson R.
        Chemotherapy-induced emesis: quality of life and economic impact in
        the context of current practice in Canada. Supportive Cancer Therapy
        2005;2:181-7.
    

    EMEND(TM) is a trademark of Merck & Co., Inc., Whitehouse Station, N.J.,
    U.S.A.




For further information:

For further information: Martine Drolet, Merck Frosst Canada Ltd., (514)
428-3037, (514) 833-6780


Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890