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FDA Approves Revolutionary Parkinson's Treatment and NPF Is Helping Deliver it to You

The National Parkinson Foundation (NPF) is pleased to share that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved DUOPA™, developed by AbbVie Inc., as a treatment for people with advanced Parkinson's disease. DUOPA™ is a new approach to the delivery of carbidopa and levodopa for the treatment of the motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease; it is administered using a small, portable infusion pump that delivers carbidopa and levodopa directly into the small intestine.

Key Highlights about DUOPA™:

  • DUOPA™ is the first and only treatment providing 16 continuous hours of carbidopa and levodopa for motor symptoms in advanced PD.
  • In a clinical trial, patients treated with DUOPA™ experienced significantly greater improvement in "off" time than patients treated with oral carbidopa-levodopa immediate release tablets.

"The approval of the dopamine pump for the treatment of Parkinson's disease is a huge step forward for treatment of Parkinson's disease patients suffering from motor fluctuations and other disabling symptoms.,"said Dr. Michael S. Okun, NPF's National Medical Director. "We are very enthusiastic about this advance being made available to patients all over the United States."

"Due to the progressive nature of Parkinson's disease, it can be difficult to treat over time, especially in the advanced stages," said Joyce Oberdorf, NPF's President and CEO. "Our organization is encouraged by the introduction of a new therapy that may provide another treatment option for affected patients and families."

NPF is collaborating with AbbVie in the development and delivery of comprehensive training programs on DUOPA™ for NPF Centers of Excellence (COEs). NPF considers AbbVie's DUOPA™ product to be an important tool to address unmet clinical needs for advanced Parkinson’s patients. The one-day trainings will be held in the first quarter of 2015 to ensure COEs are among the first sites to be trained. The trainings will include hands-on sessions to provide a strong foundation for key stakeholders involved in managing treatment with DUOPA™.

This news comes on the heels of last week's FDA approval of RYTARY™ (carbidopa and levodopa) extended-release capsules. If you have questions about either of these newly-approved Parkinson's treatments, NPF's Helpline is available at 1-800-4PD-INFO (1-800-473-4636) or helpline@parkinson.org.

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