According to a story from Pharma Times, the drug company Ipsen has recently made available a pre-filled syringe of its drug lanreotide (marketed as Somatuline) which will allow patients to self-inject the therapy for the first time. The syringes will be covered on the UK’s NHS. This will allow improvements for patient quality of life and convenience since patients will no longer have to travel a medical center to get the treatment. lanreotide is used to treat a variety of rare conditions, including acromegaly, neuroendocrine, carcinoid tumor symptoms, and gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors.
Based on Patient Input
The pre-filled syringes were made available following data gathered in five separate studies which included feedback from both patients and healthcare professionals to guide the company’s efforts to redesign the syringe for use outside of the doctor’s office setting. The results of this patient focused research will allow patients with these rare diseases to have more direct control over their treatment and should ultimately mean less visits to the hospital.
Acromegaly is a condition that is characterized by the excessive release of growth hormone in the body after the growth plates have already closed. The disease is caused by overproduction of growth hormone by the pituitary gland, which usually occurs as a result of a tumor of the pituitary gland or of another organ in the body, such as the lungs or adrenal glands. Symptoms include enlargement of the feet, hands, nose, jaw, and forehead, deepening voice, and thick skin. Treatment may include radiation therapy, surgical removal of the tumor, and a number of medications to suppress growth hormone production. To learn more about acromegaly, click here.
About Neuroendocrine Tumors
Neuroendocrine tumors appear in cells of either the nervous system or endocrine system. They often appear in the digestive tract, but the lungs, pancreas, and other organs can also be affected. They may be malignant (cancerous) or benign. Symptoms vary depending on the location of the tumor, but one type, called carcinoid tumors, can cause overproduction of hormones, resulting in symptoms such as heart palpitations, flushing, swelling of the limbs, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, congestive heart failure, and asthma. To learn more about neuroendocrine tumors, click here.
These rare diseases can be a significant challenge for patients to manage. However, with the added convenience of a syringe that can safely be used by patients at home, the lives of these patients will get that much simpler.