Once-daily oral medication to be reimbursed for first-line use
MISSISSAUGA, ON, Dec. 1, 2014 /CNW/ - Genzyme, a sanofi company, announced today that the Alberta Drug Program has included AUBAGIO® (teriflunomide) 14 mg on the provincial drug formulary as a first-line oral agent for people in the province living with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS).
AUBAGIO is indicated as monotherapy for the treatment of RRMS to reduce the frequency of clinical exacerbations and to delay the accumulation of physical disability.
"It is great news that Alberta will now provide access to a new, oral and highly tolerable first-line agent for relapse reduction for patients with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis. Any addition to the treatment arsenal, particularly an oral one, has been the ongoing hope of patients and care providers alike for many years. We appreciate the Alberta government's decision to fund this agent, which will improve our ability to make treatment options available to our patients," says Dr. Jodie Burton, Assistant Clinical Professor, Department of Clinical Neurosciences and Community Health Sciences Member, Hotchkiss Brain Institute at the University of Calgary.
"The MS Society is excited that Alberta continues to demonstrate leadership in providing more treatment options for those living with multiple sclerosis," says Neil Pierce, President, Alberta and Northwest Territories Division and national Vice President, Government Relations, MS Society of Canada. "It was just over a year ago that the Government of Alberta announced 'The Way Forward: Alberta's Multiple Sclerosis Partnership,' the only comprehensive provincial strategy to support people impacted by MS of its kind. Today's announcement further underscores the value of all stakeholders working together to help those effected by MS. For those living with MS interested in exploring treatment options, we encourage them to consult with their health care team to find the course that is most appropriate for them."
About MS in Alberta
Alberta has one of the highest rates of multiple sclerosis in the world. More than 14,000 Albertans currently live with MS, an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system, which is made up of the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves. As most people are diagnosed with relapsing MS in their twenties and thirties, MS is the most common neurological disease affecting young adults in Canada.
"We are very happy that patients in Alberta suffering from RRMS will now have access to AUBAGIO," said Peter Brenders, General Manager, Genzyme Canada. "We congratulate the Government of Alberta on recognizing the value brought by this important new treatment, not only as an oral alternative to injectables, but as a first line agent for newly diagnosed patients."
As part of its commitment to those living with MS, Genzyme has developed the MS One to One™ program which offers comprehensive information services and ongoing education as well as reimbursement navigation. Staffed by dedicated MS nurses and highly trained representatives, MS One to One provides support for individuals living with MS, their healthcare providers, family and loved ones.
About AUBAGIO® (Teriflunomide)
Approved in Canada in November 2013, AUBAGIO is an immunomodulator with anti-inflammatory properties. Although the exact mechanism of action for AUBAGIO is not fully understood, it may involve a reduction in the number of activated lymphocytes in the central nervous system (CNS). AUBAGIO is supported by one of the largest clinical programs of any MS therapy, with more than 5,000 trial participants in 36 countries. Some patients in extension trials have been treated for up to 10 years and are still benefitting from the treatment.
About Genzyme, a Sanofi Company
Genzyme has pioneered the development and delivery of transformative therapies for patients affected by rare and debilitating diseases for over 30 years. We accomplish our goals through world-class research and with the compassion and commitment of our employees. With a focus on rare diseases and multiple sclerosis, we are dedicated to making a positive impact on the lives of the patients and families we serve. That goal guides and inspires us every day. Genzyme's portfolio of transformative therapies, which are marketed in countries around the world, represents groundbreaking and life-saving advances in medicine. As a Sanofi company, Genzyme benefits from the reach and resources of one of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies, with a shared commitment to improving the lives of patients. Learn more at www.genzyme.ca.
Sanofi, a global and diversified healthcare leader, discovers, develops and distributes therapeutic solutions focused on patients' needs. Sanofi has core strengths in the field of healthcare with seven growth platforms: diabetes solutions, human vaccines, innovative drugs, consumer healthcare, emerging markets, animal health and the new Genzyme. Sanofi is listed in Paris (EURONEXT: SAN) and in New York (NYSE: SNY).
Genzyme® and AUBAGIO® are registered trademarks of Genzyme Corporation. All rights reserved.
For further information: Media Contacts: Noëlle-Dominique Willems, Director Government Affairs and Market Access, Genzyme Canada, (905) 267-3176, firstname.lastname@example.org; Jennifer Dolan, Cohn & Wolfe, (647) 259-3292, email@example.com