Participants follow proceedings during the launch of Paliperidone Palmitate for the treatment of schizophrenia. It will be used by adults whose disease has already been stabilized on treatment with paliperidone or risperidone. www.businesstoday.co.ke
Participants follow proceedings during the launch of Paliperidone Palmitate for the treatment of schizophrenia. It will be used by adults whose disease has already been stabilized on treatment with paliperidone or risperidone. [Photo/J&J]

The Pharmacy and Poisons Board (PPB) has approved the use of Paliperidone Palmitate for the maintenance treatment of schizophrenia in adults.

Paliperidone Palmitate will be used by adults whose disease has already been stabilized on treatment with paliperidone or risperidone.

It is manufactured by Janssen, pharmaceutical companies of Johnson & Johnson.

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

(L-R) Janssen Kenya Key account manager/product specialist for Neuroscience Dedan Kihara, Lisbon Psychiatrist Hospital centre consultant Dr Soffia Brissos and Dr Eric Muchangi Country Medical Affairs Manager Jansen during the launch of Paliperidone Palmitate for the treatment of schizophrenia. [Photo/J&J]

Prescription Only Drug 

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

Its 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.

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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 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.

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

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“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.

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.

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

Schizophrenia

The Mayo Clinic notes that schizophrenia is a disorder that affects a person’s ability to think, feel and behave clearly.

Treatment can help, but the condition cannot be cured and it can be classified as chronic since it can last for years or be lifelong.

To know if one has the condition, a medical diagnosis is required.

The Mayo Clinic adds that the exact cause of schizophrenia is not known but a combination of genetics, environment and altered brain chemistry and structure may play a role.

“Schizophrenia is characterised by thoughts or experiences that seem out of touch with reality, disorganised speech or behaviour and decreased participation in daily activities. Difficulty with concentration and memory may also be present.”

The Clinic adds that treatment is usually lifelong and often involving a combination of medications, psychotherapy and coordinated speciality care services.

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