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By Online medications

CellCept gets go-ahead for new indication
Patients undergoing allogenic liver transplant can now be treated with CellCept (mycophenolate mofetil, Hoffmann-La Roche) to prevent organ rejection. The drug is also used to prevent rejection in patients receiving new hearts, as well as those who have had kidney transplant. It is administered in combination with cyclosporine and corticosteroids. Back to top

Transplant patients offered switch
Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp. is introducing the Neoral Assurance Program to assist patients who must substitute another agent for the recently recalled SangCya Oral Solution (cyclosporine), a generic version of Neoral. SangCya was recalled when it was discovered that taking it with apple juice reduces its absorption, a problem that does not occur with Neoral. To ease the transition, Novartis is temporarily offering up to three whole blood level-monitoring assessments at no charge to patients converted from SangCya to another cyclosporine. (Keep in mind that Neoral and Sandoz Pharmaceuticals' SandImmune, the other brand, are not bioequivalent either.) Back to top

HIV drug access opened
Abbott Laboratories has opened patient access to its experimental HIV drug Kaletra (lopinavir/ritonavir), which is currently in phase III clinical trials. The drug is now available through Abbott's Early Access Program to any HIV patient who needs the drug to construct a viable regimen, without any CD4 cell count or viral load restrictions. HIV patients interested in receiving Kaletra should contact their health-care provider or phone 1-(888) 711-7193. Back to top