LAKE MARY, FL, June 1 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Priority Healthcare Corporation has been chosen by Bertek Pharmaceuticals, a wholly owned subsidiary of Mylan Laboratories Inc., , to be a specialty distributor provider of Apokyn(TM) (apomorphine hydrochloride injection). This agreement is in addition to the previously announced preferred specialty pharmacy relationship. Apokyn, approved April 20, 2004 by the FDA, is the first and only therapy in the United States indicated as an acute intermittent treatment of hypomobility, or "off" episodes, in patients with advanced Parkinson's disease. Apokyn will be available for patient use in July.
"We are pleased to leverage both our specialty distribution and specialty pharmacy services to provide customized services for Parkinson's patients and their physicians," said Steve Cosler, President and CEO of Priority Healthcare. "As the healthcare industry evolves, patients, physicians, pharmaceutical manufacturers, and payors have found numerous benefits to having a one-stop, comprehensive source for complex and chronic disease therapies. Providing medications through both specialty channels helps patients and physicians manage diseases at home with added care from pharmacists and nurses and in their doctor's office."
Priority Healthcare's specialty distribution services for Apokyn include:
* Overnight delivery of medications and supplies
* Injection device distribution
* Product consultation with clinically-trained sales and customer service
Priority Healthcare's specialty pharmacy services for Apokyn will include:
* Caring Paths(TM) disease treatment management process, specific to
* Expert treatment preparation by clinical pharmacists.
* Express shipping direct to homes, physician offices, or other
* Detailed personal instruction and educational materials for self-
* Access to pharmacists and nurses 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365
days a year.
* Insurance counseling and assistance through reimbursement specialists
who oversee the submission and approval process of claims.
* Coordination of all aspects of patient care with the physician's
Priority Healthcare has a team of clinicians available to speak directly with Parkinson's patients and health care providers at 888-9APOKYN (888-927- 6596). Providers may also fax enrollment forms for patients to 888-704-3603.
About Parkinson's disease
Afflicting the central nervous system, Parkinson's disease is characterized by resting tremors, stiffness in limbs, slowness of movement, and postural instability. Parkinson's is estimated to affect 1-1.5 million Americans, with incidence increasing with age. As the disease progresses, patients become less responsive to their medications, such as levodopa, and may develop motor fluctuations referred to as "off" episodes. "Off" episodes are debilitating periods of partial loss of movement or total immobility experienced by patients with advanced Parkinson's disease. These episodes are characterized by stiffness of the limbs, slowness, immobility and, in most cases, tremor. Because patients with Parkinson's disease lose motor control duing "off" episodes, walking, eating, bathing, and even speaking may be more impaired during an "off" episode.
Apokyn does not prevent off episodes and does not replace other Parkinson's disease medications, but rather it is used as an acute (rescue) therapy to effectively treat an off episode when it occurs. Apokyn is given by injection under the skin. Apokyn should not be used by patients who are being treated with certain drugs for nausea or irritable bowel syndrome called 5HT3 antagonists or blockers (including, for example, ondansetron, granisetron, dolasetron, palonesetron, and alosetron). In addition, Apokyn should not be used by patients who have an allergic reaction to the drug or its ingredients (notably sodium metabisulfite). Apokyn should be injected under the skin only, and not into a vein. Apokyn may lower blood pressure (orthostatic hypotension), cause fainting, and increase the risk of falling. At recommended doses minimal increases in QTC were observed. Caution should be used when prescribing apomorphine with drugs that prolong the QT/QTC interval. Some patients treated with Apokyn may get sleepy during the day or fall asleep without warning while doing everyday activities. The most common side effects of Apokyn are yawning, dyskinesias, nausea and/or vomiting, sleepiness, dizziness, runny nose, hallucinations, fluid retention, chest pain, increased sweating, flushing, and an unusually pale complexion.
Additional information on Apokyn is available from Bertek Pharmaceuticals at: http://www.apokyn.com/ or by calling 1-877-7APOKYN (1-877-727-6596).
About Priority Healthcare Corporation
Priority Healthcare Corporation is a national specialty pharmacy and distributor that provides biopharmaceuticals, complex therapies, and related disease treatment programs and services. Priority Healthcare provides comprehensive programs for patients, payors, physicians, and pharmaceutical manufacturers for a growing number of disease states including cancer, hepatitis C, respiratory and pulmonary conditions, infertility, rheumatoid arthritis, hemophilia, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's, and age-related macular degeneration. Additional information regarding Priority Healthcare is available at http://www.priorityhealthcare.com/
Certain statements included in this press release, which are not historical facts, are forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements represent our expectations or beliefs and involve certain risks and uncertainties, including those described in our public filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission; also including, but not limited to, changes in interest rates, competitive pressures, changes in customer mix, changes in third party reimbursement rates, financial stability of major customers, changes in government regulations or the interpretation of these regulations, changes in supplier relationships, growth opportunities, cost savings, revenue enhancements, synergies and other benefits anticipated from acquisition transactions, difficulties relative to integrating acquired businesses, the accounting and tax treatment of acquisitions, and asserted and unasserted claims, which could cause actual results to differ from those in the forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements by their nature involve substantial risks and uncertainties, certain of which are beyond our control, and actual results may differ materially depending on a variety of important factors. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements that speak only as of the date herein.
Priority Healthcare Corporation