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Betmiga launched in Lebanon

13th November 2015 in Product Launches

Beirut, Lebanon; November 13, 2015: Astellas Pharma Middle East, North and Sub-Saharan Africa (MENA/SSA), today announced that its latest innovative treatment for overactive bladder (OAB) is now available in Lebanon. The oral medication contains the active ingredient mirabegron, and provides a new treatment option for OAB patients.

Overactive bladder (OAB) is the name of a group of urinary symptoms. The most common symptom of OAB is a sudden urge to urinate that cannot be controlled. Some patients will leak urine when they feel the urge.1 Having to go to the bathroom many times during the day and night is another symptom of OAB. It’s estimated that this condition affects more than 400 million people worldwide.2

Speaking to the media, Dr. Maroun Moukarzel, Chief of the Urology Department at the Hotel Dieu Hospital in Beirut said:

“OAB is a common problem affecting approximately 16.2% of men and 16.9% of women in 2014. It is unfortunately ignored by many due to lack of awareness of the condition, or due to social stigma and embarrassment. OAB is a challenging syndrome when it comes to proper diagnosis and management”.

In a survey carried out on OAB patients, 65% felt OAB had adversely affected their daily life.3 Symptoms can affect family, social and work life, as well as mental and physical wellbeing.4 OAB patients typically demonstrate higher depression scores and lower quality of life scores.5 

Internationally renowned specialist, Prof. Philip Van Kerrebroeck of Maastricht UMC+, Department of Urology in the Netherlands, commented:

“The ideal pharmacological treatment of OAB ensures an optimal balance between efficacy and tolerability. The treatment should improve all of the symptoms in OAB with minimal side effects. Mirabegron meets this definition of treatment for OAB in that patients experienced less symptom discomfort and more treatment satisfaction than those treated with a placebo. The safety profile for mirabegron makes this therapy an effective oral medication for people with overactive bladder symptoms.”

Mirabegron has a different mechanism of action than the oral antimuscarinic agents which currently is the only available treatment option in Lebanon. Mirabegron works by stimulating the receptors in the muscle of the bladder called beta-3 receptors causing it to relax.6 This improves the storage capacity of the bladder without inhibiting bladder contraction, thereby prolonging the time between trips to the toilet for the patient.7 Dry mouth is one of the most common and bothersome side effects of antimuscarinics, and often the reason for discontinuation of treatment.8

Mr. Markus Weber, General Manager Astellas Pharma MENA/SSA concluded:

“This is the second time this year that Astellas has shown its commitment to healthcare in Lebanon. In July, we announced the introduction of a novel prostate cancer therapy. Now, we are introducing a new first-in-class treatment for overactive bladder. Astellas is dedicated to finding new treatments to meet unmet medical needs. With the availability of this therapy, there is a promising new opportunity for patients to improve their symptoms.”

Mirabegron is now available via prescription in Lebanon for 50mg pack of 30 tablets.

– ENDS –

  1. Abrams P. et al. Reviewing the ICS 2002 Terminology Report: The Ongoing Debate. Neurourol Urodyn 2006; 25: 293-2(API_CC)
  2. Irwin D.E., et al. Worldwide prevalence estimates of lower urinary tract symptoms, overactive bladder, urinary incontinence and bladder outlet obstruction. BJU Int 2011; 108(7):1132-8
  3. Milsom I et al. How widespread are the symptoms of an overactive bladder and how are they managed? A population-based prevalence study. BJU Int 2001;87(9)760-6
  4. Brown J.S. et al. Comorbidities associated with overactive bladder. Am J Manag Care 2000; 6(11 Suppl): S574-579
  5. Stewart WF et al. Prevalence and burden of overactive bladder in the United States. World J Urol 2003; 20: 327-336
  6. Betimga Summary of Product Characteristics. Available from: http://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/medicine/27429 Accessed March 2013
  7. Tyagi P et al. Mirabegron: safety review Expert Opin. Drug Safety 2011;10.2: 287-294
  8. Benner JS, Nichol MB, Rovner ES, et al. Patient-reported reasons for discontinuing overactive bladder medication. BJU Int 2010; 105(9): 1276-82

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