Medical Practitioners attending a conference. PHOTO /KOOME KAZUNGU


By Koome Kazungu

Janssen has receives approval from the Pharmacy and Poisons Board for Paliperidone Palmitate once monthly long-acting injectable for the treatment of schizophrenia

The Pharmacy and Poisons Board (PPB) approved the use of Paliperidone Palmitate, manufactured by Janssen, pharmaceutical companies of Johnson & Johnson, for the maintenance treatment of schizophrenia in adults whose disease has already been stabilized on treatment with paliperidone or risperidone.1

Paliperidone Palmitate is a second generation long acting injectable antipsychotic which will be administered monthly as a maintenance treatment of patients with schizophrenia.

The new drug works as a receptor antagonist of dopamine and serotonin, leading to the stabilization of these two chemicals in the brain.1

The approval is expected to help boost ongoing efforts aimed at addressing the burden of mental illness and access to quality mental health care in Kenya.

The prescription only drug is distributed locally by Johnson & Johnson Middle East FZ LLC, locally known as Janssen Kenya, as part of the global pharmaceutical company´s commitment to enhance access to essential medicines.

When confirming the recent approval, Janssen Kenya Country Manager Mr. Marseille Onyango noted that burden of schizophrenia and related illnesses was on the rise and the introduction of Paliperidone Palmitate in the market would proliferate access to more treatment options for patients with schizophrenia.

Mr. Marseille Onyango said the pharmaceutical company will continue to support national efforts to de-stigmatize mental health by supporting awareness and capacity building initiatives.

“As a company committed to bringing innovative medicines to patients, we want to play our part and join forces in the national mental health policy rollout agenda as we aspire for better health outcomes for all,” said Onyango.

On his part, Mr. Bassem Haider, Janssen Country Director for Sub Saharan Africa & Syria, emphasized the company’s strong heritage in neuroscience.

“We are a proud pioneer in the field. It is our mission to reduce the burden, disability and devastation caused by mental health disorders and transform individual lives.” said Bassem.

Mr. Haider expressed optimism that the new treatment will provide much needed relief for patients with Schizophrenia and their families.

About Paliperidone Palmitate

Paliperidone Palmitate is indicated for maintenance treatment of schizophrenia in adult patients stabilized with paliperidone or risperidone.

In selected adult patients with schizophrenia and previous responsiveness to oral paliperidone or risperidone, Paliperidone Palmitate may be used without prior stabilization with oral treatment if psychotic symptoms are mild to moderate and a long-acting injectable treatment is needed.

Paliperidone is a selective blocking agent of monoamine effects, whose pharmacological properties are different from that of traditional neuroleptics.

Paliperidone binds strongly to serotonergic 5-HT2- and dopaminergic D2-receptors. Paliperidone also blocks alpha 1-adrenergic receptors and slightly less, H1-histaminergic and alpha 2-adrenergic receptors.

The pharmacological activity of the (+)- and (-)-paliperidone enantiomers are qualitatively and quantitatively similar.1

About Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a complex and chronic brain disorder, in which symptoms can be severe and disabling and can affect all aspects of a person’s daily life.

It affects people from all countries, socio-economic groups and cultures. Its prevalence is similar around the world – almost one person in every 100 will develop schizophrenia before they reach the age of 60, with men slightly more at risk.

There is no single cause of schizophrenia. Different factors acting together are thought to contribute to the development of the illness. Both genetic and environmental factors seem to be important.

Symptoms of schizophrenia can include hallucinations, delusions, lack of emotional response, social withdrawal/depression, apathy and a lack of drive or initiative.

Schizophrenia is typically a lifelong condition, but there are treatments that can be beneficial.

Clinical guidelines recommend that the optimal treatment package is a combination of antipsychotic medication along with psychotherapy, psycho-education and self-help.

Effective treatment may allow people with the condition to enjoy a more fulfilling, well rounded life, which may include returning to work or study, independent living and social relationships, which in turn can aid their recovery.

About the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson

At Janssen, we’re creating a future where disease is a thing of the past.

We’re the Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, working tirelessly to make that future a reality for patients everywhere by fighting sickness with science, improving access with ingenuity, and healing hopelessness with heart.

We focus on areas of medicine where we can make the biggest difference: Cardiovascular & Metabolism, Immunology, Infectious Diseases & Vaccines, Neuroscience, Oncology, and Pulmonary Hypertension.

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