Sunday, April 12, 2009

Product Tidbits April 2009 Part 2

1. A new proton-pump inhibitor has entered the market: Kapidex (dexlansoprazole). It is the right-handed enantiomer, or 1 of two mirror images of the molecule, lansoprazole (also known as Prevacid), hence the "dex-" prefix. In pivotal trials, Kapidex was as effective as lansoprazole. Kapidex's pill releases the medication in two separate periods, which the manufacturer refers to as "Dual Delivery Release (TM)." I am going to have to read further before I can cite reputable studies that document this produces better statistically significant results than the other currently available products.

2. There are currently two self-injectable epinephrine devices on the market: Epi-pen and Twinject. The former is older. Its name is almost synonymous with self-injectable epinephrine devices, much like Xerox is to photocopying. The manufacturer has a market share of about 96-97% of the marketplace in the U.S. The remaining share belongs to Twinject. I think this entrenched association is responsible for the demise of the original parent of Twinject - Verus Pharmaceuticals. It declared bankruptcy and this product was sold to Sciele Pharmaceuticals. I am not saying one is superior to the other. The situation is a near monopoly.

3. In the field of allergy, there are other monopolies. Singulair is the only leukotriene antgonist inhibitor being marketed. Accolate its forerunner and competitor is essentially gone. Zyflo is the only 5-lipoxygenase inhibitor available.

4. The FDA has requested further information from AstraZeneca on their product, Symbicort, for children ages 6 to 11 years of age, before granting them marketing approval. No word on how long this delay will be.

If you have questions, ask your doctor...

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