Affordable drug introduced for women with endometriosis

Monday, April 30, 2018

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LASCO Distributors in association with Bayer HealthCare is offering Jamaican women suffering from endometriosis an affordable solution to ease the debilitating effects of the illness through the use of the drug Visanne.

Endometriosis develops when cells resembling those from the lining of the womb grow outside the womb, forming endometriotic implants which can cause inflammation and the formation of scar tissue, leading to pain. Visanne, manufactured in Germany by international pharmaceutical giant Bayer HealthCare, provides a viable treatment option for the estimated one in 10 women affected by endometriosis.

The drug, now available at pharmacies islandwide, has been proven in clinical trials to significantly reduce the pain associated with endometriosis and significantly reduce endometriotic implants — the endometrium-like tissue found 'implanted' outside the womb.

“We are committed to improving the health and well-being of women and their families everywhere through researching and developing new treatment options for diseases afflicting women,” said Zonite Channer-Williams, sales force supervisor, Bayer Brands.

“We feel that the introduction of Visanne marks a considerable step forward in managing this chronic, debilitating disease.”

According to Dr Vernon DaCosta, director of the Hugh Wynter Fertility Management Unit at the University of the West Indies, Mona, “Endometriosis places a heavy burden on women in the prime of their lives, causing considerable pain and impacting on everyday aspects of a woman's life. This new well-tolerated treatment option, with the potential to offer women significant and lasting pain relief, is good news for the women living with endometriosis in Jamaica.”

There is currently no cure for the painful and exhausting disease. The effectiveness and safety of Visanne to treat endometriosis at a low dose have been tested in a clinical trial programme involving women with endometriosis for up to 15 months. These clinical studies have shown that the medicine is highly effective at relieving endometriosis-associated pain, including period pain, pre-menstrual pain, pelvic pain and pain during sexual intercourse.

Melissa Mills, one patient, said she has been taking the drug since January and would recommend it to anyone with endometriosis.

“I started my menstruation at 13. If at that time I was using it I wouldn't have had to go through the pain. When you go through this pain it affects you mentally, it affects you physically, and at 13 years old it was unbearable. Everyday at school I would be in the nurse's room for the entire day. Since taking Visanne I no longer have pain as it relates to my endometriosis and I am off contraceptive treatment for the condition,” she said.

The most frequently reported side effects with Visanne are headache, breast discomfort, depressed mood and acne.

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