ABILIFY™ now reimbursed in British Columbia

MONTREAL, April 28 /CNW Telbec/ - Bristol-Myers Squibb Canada is pleased to announce that British Columbia has recognized the value of ABILIFY™ (aripiprazole) for the treatment of schizophrenia and other psychosis (not dementia related) in patients who have failed or are intolerant to another specified anti-psychotic agent and has agreed to list ABILIFY as a reimbursed benefit through BC PharmaCare as of April 26, 2011.

This decision recognizes the need for additional therapeutic options for British Columbia 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. Schizophrenia affects approximately 1% of the adult population, which in BC would amount to approximately 38,000 people out of the 3.8 million residents age 15 and older.

"In responding to more than 50,000 contacts a year from individuals and family members across BC living with schizophrenia and other mental illnesses, we know first-hand the challenges of getting people on a treatment plan that works and is sustained," says Jane Duval, Executive Director, BC Schizophrenia Society (BCSS). "That's why the addition of a new treatment such as Abilify is important. It should allow more people to get better control of their disease, giving them a better quality of life."

With current therapy, more than 40% of people with schizophrenia stop taking their medication within the first year - mainly because of treatment side effects. This causes 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.

Along with BC PharmaCare, ABILIFY is also reimbursed by the Quebec public drug plan. BMS will continue to work with other provinces in the hope that they will follow the lead of these provinces in making ABILIFY available to all Canadians by agreeing to reimburse it on their public drug plans.

ABILIFY™ (aripiprazole) is the latest and only third generation antipsychotic medication. It is 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 I disorder in adults, alone or in combination with lithium or divalproex sodium.

Limited impact on weight and metabolic factors
It is an effective and safe antipsychotic with a low impact on metabolic factors such as cholesterol, lipids and blood sugar levels. It also has a limited impact on weight gain.

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.

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.

ABILIFY is a trademark of Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. used under license by Bristol-Myers Squibb Canada.

Source for BC population statistics:
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SOURCE Bristol Myers Squibb

For further information:

Sabrina Tremblay 
Senior Manager Public Affairs 
Bristol-Myers Squibb Canada     
Whitney Stanford
Hill & Knowlton

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Bristol Myers Squibb

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