A new treatment option for Canadians with schizophrenia, ABILIFY(TM) (aripiprazole), is now available in Canada. For those living with this lifelong disease who may be struggling with a treatment that doesn't work for them or with side effects that are difficult to tolerate, ABILIFY offers efficacy and good safety and tolerability with limited impact on weight, blood sugar and lipids - significant clinical benefits that may help patients stay on treatment longer.
"Schizophrenia is a complex disease that is often challenging to treat. As a physician, the main challenge I face is that patients stop taking their medications and relapse," said Dr. Ruth Baruch, psychiatrist and director of the community program at Toronto East General Hospital. "Weight gain is particularly important. Two thirds of patients will stop taking their medication because of weight gain. Numerous studies have indicated that ABILIFY has the advantage of causing fewer long-term side effects such as lower weight gain and less increase in cholesterol. Where I think this will translate in the real world is improving adherence and patients will be more likely to stay on medication in the long-term."
Schizophrenia is a lifelong disease and treatment plays an important role in its management. ABILIFY is the latest medication in Canada to treat schizophrenia. It has not only been shown to improve day-to-day functioning and lessen social withdrawal, clinical studies show it does so with less impact on patient weight or other metabolic factors such as cholesterol, lipids and blood sugar levels. ABILIFY is effective in improving a range of so-called "positive" symptoms of schizophrenia, such as hallucinations and delusions, as well as the "negative" symptoms of the disease, such as lack of motivation and emotional withdrawal, that prevent many people with schizophrenia from leading full and fulfilling lives.
One person who knows the immense burden schizophrenia puts on those directly affected by it is Brian Good of Oakville, Ontario. His brother, Eric, was struck with the devastating disease when he was in his early 20s and at university, primed to advance in education and his adult life. Brian remembers what it was like growing up. "My brother's behaviour at home was very disruptive. He would cycle between not being on medication and do strange things like hitchhike across the country," said Brian. "I lost a brother and my children lost an uncle. If there had been better treatment options back then, our family might be very different." Now in his 50s, Eric lives in a group home in Gravenhurst, Ontario.
The Schizophrenia Society of Canada believes that patient access to new treatment advances is critical to making it possible for people with schizophrenia to control their illness and improve their quality of life. "Schizophrenia is treatable and recovery of a quality of life is possible. There can never be too many treatments options for schizophrenia," says Chris Summerville, CEO of the Schizophrenia Society of Canada. "Given the complexity of schizophrenia and psychosis, the challenges people face in recovering and finding the right medication that supports the recovery process, it's vital for patients to have as many options available as possible. For this reason we believe all therapies approved by Health Canada should be made available to patients by all drug plans in Canada, public and private."
BRISTOL-MYERS SQUIBB CANADA
ABILIFY(TM) now available in Canada with several benefits: efficacy, good safety, tolerability and neutral impact on weight, cholesterol and blood sugar levels