Press release

Faster, more affordable treatment for Iron Deficiency Anaemia now available in Australia

Monday, 2 June 2014

Patients and healthcare professionals will benefit from greater access to an innovative intravenous (i.v.) iron preparation that is 24 times faster to administer than traditional methods, with the listing of Ferinject® (ferric carboxymaltose) on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).

Vifor Pharma Pty Ltd and Aspen Pharmacare Pty Ltd announced today that Ferinject®, a new form of i.v. iron with distinctive administration advantages over current parenteral irons – transfusion time is reduced from six hours to just 15 minutes – is now listed on the PBS, making it more affordable.

Ferinject® injection is used for the treatment of iron deficiency anaemia across a wide range of conditions where oral iron tablets are not tolerated, ineffective or cannot be used.

Iron deficiency is a common condition in Australia affecting close to 1 in 6 women1 and many men. It is associated with conditions including anaemia, heart failure, cancer, pregnancy, digestive problems, kidney disease and women with heavy menstrual bleeding.

The major clinical advantages of Ferinject® over the current standard of care are the more rapid administration time and a reduction in treatment related adverse events, leading to improved patient quality of life, reduced administration costs and increased hospital system capacity.

Concord Hospital Cardiologist Professor Andrew Sindone said the new treatment means patients can be treated by their general practitioner or practice nurse instead of spending all day in hospital, allowing them to get on with their daily routine and no longer needing to take a whole day off work or school.

“Having access to this simple, safe and effective treatment, now subsidised, and spending considerably less time receiving treatment, will make a big difference to the patient’s quality of life,” Professor Sindone said.

“All patients with iron deficiency who require intravenous iron infusion could benefit and the PBS listing makes this available to many more patients.”

“The treatment will also provide relief for patients who are unable to tolerate oral iron tablets due to the common side effects of nausea and bloating – which often lead patients to completely giving up the tablets.”

Professor Sindone added that over 300,000 Australians are living with heart failure, many with low iron levels who feel tired and weak will have the opportunity to receive a treatment which may improve their overall feeling of well-being and assist in their heart function.

The i.v. treatment will also allow clinicians to treat patients very effectively prior to surgery or before giving birth, leading to improved patient outcomes, a reduction in blood transfusions and ultimately cost savings for the stretched health budget.

For additional information on iron deficiency see www.irondeficiency.com.

1 WHO statistics; World Health Organization. United Nations Children’s Fund. United Nations University. Iron deficiency anaemia: assessment, prevention, and control. A guide for programme managers. Geneva: WHO, 2001. http://www.who.int/nutrition/publications/en/ida_assessment_prevention_control.

Ferinject® is an innovative non-dextran intravenous (i.v.) iron replacement therapy discovered and developed by Vifor Pharma, a company of the Galenica Group. Ferric carboxymaltose is the active pharmaceutical ingredient of Ferinject®. To date, Ferinject® has gained marketing authorisation in 61 countries worldwide for the treatment of iron deficiency where oral iron is ineffective or cannot be used. In many countries, intravenous iron replacement products are primarily used to treat dialysis patients. However, iron deficiency is also a complication of many other diseases. Vifor Pharma is evaluating new opportunities in the treatment of iron deficiency with Ferinject® in different therapeutic areas. Further clinical trials with Ferinject® in chronic kidney disease (CKD), oncology (anaemia in cancer patients), cardiology (chronic heart failure), patient blood management and women’s health are ongoing.

Vifor Pharma, a company of the Galenica Group, is a world leader in the discovery, development, manufacturing and marketing of pharmaceutical products for the treatment of iron deficiency. The company also offers a diversified portfolio of prescription medicines as well as over-the-counter (OTC) products. Vifor Pharma, headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, has an increasingly global presence and a broad network of affiliates and partners around the world.For more information about Vifor Pharma and its parent company Galenica, please visit www.viforpharma.com and www.galenica.com.

Aspen Australia* is a pharmaceutical company that commenced operations in Australia and New Zealand in May 2001. It is a dynamic company with a diverse product range including branded and generic pharmaceuticals, healthcare, nutritional and specialty pharmaceutical products. Aspen products cover a broad range of therapeutic areas including endocrinology, cardiology and oncology. Today, 19% of scripts written in Australia are for a brand marketed by Aspen making it the number one prescription company in Australia as measured by scripts generated.1

*Aspen Australia comprises Aspen Asia Pacific Pty Ltd (ABN 75 146 444 484) and its subsidiaries, including Aspen Pharmacare Australia Pty Ltd (ABN 51 096 236 985), Aspen Pharma Pty Ltd (ABN 88 004 118 594), Aspen Nutritionals Australia Pty Limited (ACN160607509),Orphan Holdings Pty Ltd (ABN50 115 816 209), Orphan Australia Pty Ltd (ABN 11 067 189 342), and Arrow Pharmaceuticals Pty Ltd (ABN 17 003 144 170).
Reference 1: IMS’ AMI MAT Dec 2013

Contact

Vifor Pharma Pty Ltd.

Level 8, 80 Dorcas Street, Southbank
Melbourne VIC 3006, Australia

Phone:
+61 39 686 01 11
Fax:
+61 39 686 03 33

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