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Treatment of Wilson disease

Wilson disease is a very treatable condition. With proper therapy, disease progress can be halted and oftentimes symptoms can be improved. Treatment is aimed at removing excess accumulated copper and preventing its reaccumulation. Treatment for Wilson disease is a lifelong process. Patients may become progressively sicker from day to day, so immediate treatment can be critical. Treatment delays may cause irreversible damage.

Chelation therapy drugs approved for treating Wilson disease include penicillamine (Cuprimine® and Depen®) and trientine (Syprine® and Trientine Dihydrochloride) Both of these drugs act by chelation or binding of copper, causing its increased urinary excretion. 

Mettalothionein inducer drugs approved for treating Wilson disease are (Galzin™) in the U.S. and (Wilzin®) in Europe.   Zinc acts by blocking the absorption of copper in the intestinal tract. This action both depletes accumulated copper and prevents its reaccumulation. Zinc's effectiveness has been shown by more than 30 years of considerable experience overseas. A major advantage of zinc therapy is its lack of side effects.

Patients with severe hepatitis or liver failure may require liver transplant. Patients being investigated or treated for Wilson disease should be cared for by specialists in Wilson disease or by specialists in consultation with their primary physicians. Stopping treatment completely will result in death, sometimes as quickly as within three months. Decreasing dosage of medications also can result in unnecessary disease progression.

Taking your medicine as prescribed is extremely critical to the success of Wilson disease treatment.  One of the advantages of having WD is that it is VERY treatable with effective, safe medications leading to a normal life expectancy . . . IF . . .  you faithfully take your medications, as prescribed, LIFELONG.  There are varying reasons for non-adherence in patients with WD and your physician has probably heard them all.  Adherence is especially difficult in patients who were asymptomatic as diagnosis.  These patients often do not see a cause and effect relationship.

To Purchase

Cuprimine® or Syprine® in the U.S., contact Valeant Pharmaceuticals North America LLC. at 1-877-ATON-549 (1-877-286-6549) . Visit the Valeant site at www.valeant.com. Contact our customer service group to find out about the products, including international distribution, here: http://valeant.com/about/contact.aspx.

Depen® in the U.S., contact Meda Pharmaceuticals at 1-732-564-2200 or send an e-mail inquiry to:  info@meda.us

Trientine Dihydrochloride: please contact Univar Ltd.

Patient Assistance Programs

New U.S. Patient Assistance Program for Cuprimine and Syprine

Valeant Pharmaceuticals launched its new patient assistance program, Valeant Coverage Plus Program (VCPP), on July 8, 2013. This program was newly created to ensure that U.S. patients have better access to their medication with fewer out-of-pocket expenses. Recently, users of Cuprimine and Syprine have been experiencing unaffordable co-pays when refilling their prescriptions. The WDA has been providing financial assistance, to some of these patients, thanks to a generous donation given specifically for this purpose. The new VCPP aims to solve these issues.

Valeant recently mailed an informational flyer, Financial Support for Improved Access to Cuprimine® (penicillamine) and Syprine® (trientine hydrochloride) Capsules to all prescribing physicians in the United States. To ensure that your physician is aware of the new program you will need to do your part as well. Before you need a new refill (we suggest at least 2 weeks prior) go to Cuprimine and Syprine to read more about the program and download the Patient Enrollment Form. Complete your portion of the form and contact your physician's office to let them know what needs to be done by them. If you have any questions, please contact a Coverage Plus Representative at 888-607-7267

Teva Biologics sponsors a Patient Assistance Program for Galzin™.  If you have any questions regarding the Teva Assistance Program(TM) please contact them at (877) 254-1039.

International:
The WDA has partnered with MAP International and Aton to support an international medication assistance program for Cuprimine® and Syprine®.  Limited amounts of these medications are generously donated by Aton and shipped, at the request of the WDA, by MAP International. Shipping costs for this valuable program are covered by the WDA. To apply for this program please contact Mary Graper at mary.graper@wilsonsdisease.org

The WDA has also formed a partnership with Univar Ltd. for the compassionate use of Trientine Dihydrochloride. Again, limited amounts of this medication are generously donated and shipped by Univar, at the request of the WDA. This valuable program is completely free to the WDA since Univar also generously donates shipping costs.

 

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