Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Advertising Works

On the Maryland Psychiatric Society's listserv I recently heard about a newly available (in the US) SNRI, Savella (milnacipran). It came out for fibromyalgia earlier this year but is used for depression in other countries. First I heard it was available. Who knew?

Then, I pick up the June issue of the Psychiatric Times. I usually let this languish in a pile, still wrapped in plastic, for a few months, and then summarily discard it, unread, once it breaks my "3 months rule". (If a throw-away mag/journal is more than 3 months old, toss it.)

I flip through it and discover -- only because of the advertisements -- several other new drugs I am unaware of. Where have I been that I've not been clued in? Twitter #fail!

So here are the other things.
  • Fanapt (iloperidone) was approved, for treating schizophrenia. Vanda makes it.
  • You can get 225mg of Effexor XR in a *single tablet*! But it's not "Effexor," it's actually a generic brand called Venlafaxine Extended Release (yes, that is the actual brand name). And it's a tablet, not a capsule. Made be Upstate Pharma. Who knew?
  • There's also a new brand of bupropion (aka Wellbutrin) out there that puts an extended release formulation of the maximum dose (450mg) all in one pill. I heard about that one in an email from Sanofi, about this new formulation called Azplenzin (though you have to order 522mg to get 450mg). This one's so new, a Google search turns up only 3 hits.
So, I'm just saying that the marketing works to get something new noticed. The more important part is doing the research to determine if it is something that may help you or your patient.


kath8562 said...

Invega-- Extended release version of risperdol's active metabolite.


Nuvigil- R-enantiomer of Provigil (which, I believe is soon to go generic)


Your ever helpful pharmacy tech here :)
Of course, because these drugs are "new", they are much more expensive, and might not be covered by the patient's insurance

Catherine said...

Am I the only one who thinks "Fanapt" sounds like a word taken from internet slang?

Anonymous said...

Interesting re Venlafaxine Ext Release. Having entered the "donut hole" of Medicare Part D, I cannot afford Effexor XR ($350/month). Generic Venlafaxine causes me G.I. problems and wears off quickly requiring multiple doses throughout the day. This new development sounded perfect albeit still expensive albeit not so much so. I received a coupon from my doc for a free 2 week supply of the 225 mg with an rx. Upstate Pharma would not honor it despite no indication on the coupon itself, saying they would not provide the 225 mg free. All of the doseages are indicated on the coupon. Also, trying to find this med in local pharmacies is difficult. A one month supply (30 pills)is about $160.