Parkinson’s Disease: Western Medicine Apomorphine Launched in Bengaluru

In a boon to patients in the middle stages of Parkinson’s Disease, a private hospital in Bengaluru, in association with UK-based specialty pharmaceutical company Britannia Pharmaceuticals, has launched Apomorphine for the first time in India. Apomorphine, available both as injections and infusion pumps, has been popular in the West for over 15 years in the management of Parkinson’s, but Indian patients could not benefit from it until now because of a lack of regulatory approvals. Now, it will be given on compassionate grounds to a select number of patients.

This powerful new drug stimulates the production of dopamine by nerve cells in the brain, providing quick and effective relief to patients and improving their quality of life. Dr. Prashanth LK, Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Specialist, Vikram Hospital, where the drug will be available, said, “Currently in India, patients of Parkinson’s have only two options: either oral treatment for the early stages of the disease, or very expensive Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) surgery for advanced stages. There was no treatment for the middle stages of the disease. Most patients in India cannot afford DBS. This procedure is also not a choice for all ages or stages of Parkinson’s Disease.”

“Introduction of apomorphine in India has given an important medical option to doctors in the middle stages of the management of Parkinson’s Disease,” Dr Prashanth said.Dr Pramod Kumar Pal, Head, Department of Neurology, NIMHANS, said once the Drug Controller General of India approves the drug it will be available at other hospitals. The prevalence of Parkinson’s Disease in India is 300-400 out of 100,000, which is expected to double by 2030.