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SMC approves Parkinson’s disease treatment Ongentys

The once-daily additional oral treatment for patients living with Parkinson’s disease is now accepted for use within NHS Scotland

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Bial has announced that its treatment Ongentys (opicapone) has been accepted for use within NHS Scotland after a review published by the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC).

The SMC’s decision indicates that the treatment may be administered to adult patients living with Parkinson's disease as an adjunctive therapy to preparations of levodopa/ DOPA decarboxylase inhibitors (DDCI) with end-of-dose motor fluctuations who cannot be stabilised on those combinations.

The decision made by the SMC means Scotland is the first of the four nations within the UK to provided unrestricted and equitable access to Ongentys for eligible patients diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

Bial’s treatment Ongentys is a once-a-day oral Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) inhibitor which can block COMT – an enzyme that breaks down levodopa – which is the gold standard therapy for controlling motor symptoms in patients with Parkinson’s disease.

Ongentys can reduce the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease by working to protect levodopa against attacks from the COMT enzyme by reducing its deterioration in the bloodstream, in turn producing more levodopa to reach the brain.

Prior to the approval, some Parkinson’s patients would have needed far more invasive treatments, involving injections, pumps or infusions to provide adequate condition management where other therapies may have failed or fallen short.

Parkinson’s disease – a chronic and progressive neurodegenerative condition – impacts the lives of an estimated 14,587 people in Scotland.

Former consultant neurologist at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow, Dr Donald Grosset, is active in Parkinson’s clinical research and he welcomed the news, saying: “It is always very helpful to have a range of treatment choices that can be tailored for each individual person with Parkinson’s.”

Tanith Muller, parliamentary and campaigns manager at Parkinson's UK Scotland said: “Parkinson's UK Scotland welcomes the approval of opicapone for use in NHS Scotland. It means that people with Parkinson's who experience debilitating symptoms will have another treatment option.

“‘Wearing off’ happens when a person's Parkinson's medication stops working before the next dose is due. It can happen suddenly, leaving people unable to move or speak. Some people have anxiety or uncontrolled movements.

“Wearing off has a huge impact on people with Parkinson's and family members or friends who support them – some people feel unable to leave their homes. Wearing off can be hard to treat and having a different option to consider means that more people with Parkinson's in Scotland can gain greater control of their symptoms – and their lives."

Article by
Fleur Jeffries

24th January 2022

From: Research

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