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New drug is given the green light to treat Parkinson’s

a pair of hands helping someone with Parkinson's hold a walking stick

A ground-breaking new drug for treating advanced Parkinsons disease has been recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence [NICE].

The catch named ‘foslevodopa–foscarbidopa’ [also referred to as Produodopa] is taken through an infusion pump over the course of 24 hours.

It’s easy to carry around and can be refilled at home, simplifying things for patients and their carers.

The drug releases foslevodopa and foscarbidopa through the body which turns foslevodopa into the chemical dopamine, which exchanges messages between the brain and nerves to control movement.

Up until now people living with Parkinson’s are usually prescribed levodopa and carbidopa, which are taken by mouth, when the disease progresses further medication may be added. 

Patients can also be offered deep brain stimulation, levodopa-carbidopa intestinal gel or apomorphine, a drug injected into the arm to stimulate nerve control.

Foslevodopa–foscarbidopa has been requested to be used only on patients who are unable to take apomorphine, deep brain stimulation surgery or treatments which are no longer effective.

Helen Knight, director of medicines evaluation at NICE, said: “Foslevodopa–foscarbidopa represents an important new treatment for people with advanced Parkinson’s, providing an easy-to-use option that can help them manage their symptoms more reliably and effectively.

“This is the first time NICE has approved a treatment for Parkinson’s and comes after NICE was able to work with the company to address the issues that had initially prevented a positive recommendation. We are determined to get the best care to patients fast and ensure value for the taxpayer.”

[ For more information and advice please visit the Parkinson’s UK website. ]

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