AstraZeneca's SEROQUEL Named "Product Of The Year" By National Business & Disability Council

WILMINGTON, Del., Oct. 31 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- AstraZeneca today announced that SEROQUEL(R) (quetiapine fumarate) has been named "Product of the Year" by the National Business & Disability Council (NBDC). The announcement was recently made at the Council's 27th annual conference in Chicago.

The "Product of the Year" is awarded to a company or individual that has designed or is responsible for manufacturing and distributing a product that has helped enhance the lives of people with disabilities. SEROQUEL is indicated for the treatment of schizophrenia and acute manic episodes associated with bipolar I disorder.

"AstraZeneca is honored to accept this award from the National Business & Disability Council and commends the Council on its commitment to helping individuals with disabilities to lead healthy, productive, and fulfilling lives," said Don Beamish, Commercial Brand Leader at AstraZeneca. "Bipolar mania and schizophrenia are serious mental illnesses. It is vital that people affected with these conditions receive appropriate treatment. Since its launch in 1997, SEROQUEL has helped countless patients to manage their disease and live a healthier life."

Almost 2.2 million Americans - or 8 out of every 1,000 people - suffer from schizophrenia,(1) a disorder characterized by delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, grossly disorganized or catatonic behavior, and negative symptoms. More than 7 million American adults have bipolar disorder,(2) a disorder that causes dramatic shifts in a person's mood, energy, and ability to function. Different from the usual ups and downs that everyone goes through, the symptoms of bipolar disorder are severe and can result in damaged relationships, poor job or school performance, and even suicide.

Geri Hanson, who has suffered from schizophrenia for 46 years, said, "With SEROQUEL, things that at one time seemed extremely difficult - I felt better able to manage. I could go to the grocery store and drive the car because I was less confused. I am so thankful that I found a treatment like SEROQUEL and the support I need to help me manage my disease and let me enjoy my life again."

The NBDC is the leading resource for employers seeking to integrate people with disabilities into the workplace and companies seeking to reach them in the consumer marketplace.

SEROQUEL is the #1 prescribed atypical in the United States.(3) With more than 13 million patient exposures worldwide since its launch in 1997, SEROQUEL has a well-established safety and efficacy profile.


SEROQUEL (quetiapine fumarate) is an atypical antipsychotic approved for the treatment of acute manic episodes associated with bipolar I disorder and for the treatment of schizophrenia. In 2004, sales for SEROQUEL reached $2 billion. SEROQUEL has had more than 13 million patient exposures worldwide since its launch in 1997.


SEROQUEL is indicated for the treatment of acute manic episodes associated with bipolar I disorder, as either monotherapy or adjunct therapy with lithium or divalproex, and the treatment of schizophrenia. Patients should be periodically reassessed to determine the need for continued treatment.

Elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis treated with atypical antipsychotic drugs are at an increased risk (1.6 to 1.7 times) of death compared to placebo (4.5% vs 2.6%, respectively). SEROQUEL is not approved for the treatment of patients with dementia-related psychosis.

Prescribing should be consistent with the need to minimize the risk of tardive dyskinesia. A rare condition referred to as neuroleptic malignant syndrome has been reported with this class of medications, including SEROQUEL.

Hyperglycemia, in some cases extreme and associated with ketoacidosis, hyperosmolar coma, or death, has been reported in patients treated with atypical antipsychotics, including SEROQUEL. Patients starting treatment with atypical antipsychotics who have or are at risk for diabetes should undergo fasting blood glucose testing at the beginning of and during treatment. Patients who develop symptoms of hyperglycemia should also undergo fasting blood glucose testing.

Precautions include the risk of seizures, orthostatic hypotension, and cataract development.

The most commonly observed adverse events associated with the use of SEROQUEL in clinical trials were somnolence, dry mouth, dizziness, constipation, asthenia, abdominal pain, postural hypotension, pharyngitis, SGPT increase, dyspepsia, and weight gain.

For full Prescribing Information for SEROQUEL(R) (quetiapine fumarate) tablets, please visit the Web site


AstraZeneca is a major international healthcare business engaged in the research, development, manufacture and marketing of prescription pharmaceuticals and the supply of healthcare services. It is one of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies with healthcare sales of over $21.4 billion and leading positions in sales of gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, respiratory, oncology and neuroscience products. In the United States, AstraZeneca is a $9.6 billion healthcare business with more than 12,000 employees. AstraZeneca is listed in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (Global) as well as the FTSE4Good Index.

For more information about AstraZeneca, please visit:

This press release contains forward-looking statements with respect to AstraZeneca's business. By their nature, forward-looking statements and forecasts involve risks and uncertainties because they relate to events and depend on circumstances that will occur in the future. There are a number of factors that could cause actual results and developments to differ materially. For a discussion of those risks and uncertainties, please see the company's Annual Report/Form 20-F for 2004.


(1) Torrey Fuller E. Surviving Schizophrenia: A Manual for Families, Consumers, and Providers: Fourth Edition. New York: HarperCollins, 2001

(2) Hirschfeld et al. Screening for Bipolar in the Community. J Clin Psychiatry, 64:1, January 2003.

(3) All atypical prescriptions: Total prescriptions. Jan. 05-Aug. 05. New prescriptions. Sept. 04-Aug 05. IMS Health. National Prescription Audit.


CONTACT: Hugo Perez of AstraZeneca, +1-302-885-6809, or Jim Minnick of AstraZeneca, +1-302-886-5135or

Back to news