Calendar of Events Donate Now
Subscribe for Email Updates

    The work shop was great. I enjoyed it ... refreshing. Thanks for putting together a positive work shop.

    T.R., JUMPSTART Program Participant from VA

    Novartis committed to supporting patients and healthcare

    Posted Tuesday, October 12, 2010

    East Hanover, NJ, October 7 2010 – Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation ( today
    announced the availability of patient support programs for Gilenya™ (fingolimod) 0.5 mg daily, a first-line oral treatment for relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis. Gilenya was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on September 21, 2010.

    For people with MS and healthcare professionals seeking information about Gilenya,
    Novartis offers free programs to learn about educational resources, the availability of
    free starter product, and the details of our prescription and medical co-pay support
    program for eligible patients. People can visit or call 877-408-4974 for
    information about:
    • The Gilenya Support Program, which offers treatment information, educational
    resources, assistance scheduling medical assessments and prescription benefits
    • The option of free starter product once a prescription has been written to help
    ensure immediate access to treatment during the benefits investigation process.
    Free samples are also being provided to physician’s offices and are available
    through the Gilenya Support Program.
    • The Gilenya Prescription Co-Pay Support Program, which will cover a significant
    portion of prescription out-of-pocket costs for eligible patients with commercial
    health insurance.*
    • The Gilenya Medical Co-Pay Support Program, which will reduce the out-ofpocket
    costs associated with Gilenya initiation for eligible patients who require
    certain tests before starting treatment.**
    • The Novartis Patient Assistance Program (PAP), which provides access to
    Gilenya at no cost for eligible patients who have no third-party coverage. This
    program is open to all US residents without pharmacy coverage whose income is
    less than 500% of the Federal Poverty Level. In 2009, the Novartis PAP provided
    free product valued at over $232 million to over 105,000 patients.
    “We are deeply committed to helping provide comprehensive support services to people
    with MS,” said Andy Wyss, Head of Pharma North America and President, Novartis
    Pharmaceuticals Corporation. “As part of this commitment, Novartis is providing the MS
    community with education and resources to help them make informed treatment
    decisions and to help ensure access to Gilenya when it is deemed an appropriate
    treatment option.”

    Other Novartis educational activities range from office-based education to a national
    satellite broadcast for healthcare professionals taking place in more than 75 cities
    nationwide. To help foster responsible communications between healthcare providers
    and people with MS, Novartis will commence these healthcare provider educational
    activities immediately.

    About Gilenya
    Gilenya is a prescription medicine used to treat relapsing forms of MS in adults. Gilenya
    can decrease the number of MS flare-ups (relapses). Gilenya does not cure MS, but it
    can help slow the build up of physical problems that MS causes.

    Gilenya Important Safety Information
    Gilenya may cause serious side effects such as slow heart rate (bradycardia or
    bradyarrhythmia), infections, macular edema, breathing and liver problems.
    Gilenya can cause a patient’s heart rate to slow down, especially after the first dose. The
    heart rate will usually slow down the most about six hours after a patient takes their first
    dose of Gilenya. Patients might feel dizzy or tired or be aware of a slow or irregular
    heartbeat if their heart rate slows down. A doctor will watch patients for the first six hours
    after they take the first dose to see if they have any serious side effects. A patient’s slow
    heart rate will usually return to normal within about one month after they start taking
    Gilenya. Patients should call their doctor if at any time they have dizziness, tiredness or
    a slow or irregular heartbeat.

    Gilenya can increase a patient’s risk of serious infections. Gilenya lowers the number of
    white blood cells (lymphocytes) in the blood. This will usually go back to normal within
    two months of stopping treatment. A patient’s doctor may perform a blood test before
    they start taking Gilenya. Patients should call their doctor right away if they have fever,
    tiredness, body aches, chills, nausea or vomiting.

    Macular edema can cause some of the same vision symptoms as an MS attack (optic
    neuritis). Patients may not notice any symptoms with macular edema. Macular edema
    usually starts in the first three to four months after taking Gilenya. A doctor should test a
    patient’s vision before they start taking Gilenya and three to four months after they start
    taking Gilenya, or any time they notice vision changes during treatment. Risk of macular
    edema may be higher if a patient has diabetes or has had an inflammation of the eye
    called uveitis. Patients should call their doctor right away if they have blurriness,
    shadows or a blind spot in the center of their vision, sensitivity to light or unusually
    colored vision.

    Some patients who take Gilenya have shortness of breath. Patients should call their
    doctor right away if they have trouble breathing.

    Gilenya may cause liver problems. A doctor should do blood tests to check a patient’s
    liver before they start taking Gilenya. Patients should call their doctor right away if they
    have nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, loss of appetite, tiredness, dark urine, or their skin
    or the whites of their eyes turn yellow.

    Gilenya may harm an unborn baby. Women should talk to their doctor if they are
    pregnant or planning to become pregnant. Women who can become pregnant should
    use effective birth control while on Gilenya and for at least two months after stopping. If
    3/4 a patient becomes pregnant while taking Gilenya or if they become pregnant within two
    months after stopping Gilenya, they should tell their doctor right away. Women who take
    Gilenya should not breastfeed, as it is not known if Gilenya passes into breast milk.
    Patients should tell their doctor about all their medical conditions, including if they have
    had or now have an irregular or abnormal heartbeat, a heart rate of less than 55 beats a
    minute, a fever, infection or if they are unable to fight infections, eye problems, diabetes,
    breathing or liver problems, or high blood pressure. Patients should especially tell their
    doctor if they have had chicken pox or have recently received the vaccine for chicken
    pox. A doctor may do a test for chicken pox virus and patients may need to get the
    vaccine for chicken pox and wait one month before starting Gilenya.

    Patients should tell their doctor about all the medicines they take, including medicines for
    heart problems or high blood pressure, vaccines, other medicines to control their
    immune system or treat cancer, or ketoconazole (an antifungal) by mouth.
    The most common side effects with Gilenya were headache, flu, diarrhea, back pain,
    abnormal liver tests and cough.

    For full Prescribing Information, including the Medication Guide please visit

    About Multiple Sclerosis
    While there is still much to be understood about multiple sclerosis, it is thought to be an
    autoimmune disease of the central nervous system that is chronic, progressive and often
    disabling. It affects over 400,000 Americans and more than 2.1 million people
    worldwide.. The most common forms of the disease, relapsing forms of MS, are
    characterized by exacerbations or flare-ups interspersed with periods of disease
    remission. Typically, MS strikes in early adulthood between the ages of 20 and 50 and
    affects women twice as frequently as men.

    The foregoing release contains forward-looking statements that can be identified by
    terminology such as “committed,” “launching,” “will,” “commitment,” “can,” or similar
    expressions, or by express or implied discussions regarding potential future revenues
    from Gilenya. You should not place undue reliance on these statements. Such forwardlooking
    statements reflect the current views of management regarding future events, and
    involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual
    results to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements
    expressed or implied by such statements. There can be no guarantee that Gilenya will
    achieve any particular levels of revenue in the future. In particular, management’s
    expectations regarding Gilenya could be affected by, among other things, unexpected
    regulatory actions or delays or government regulation generally; unexpected clinical trial
    results, including unexpected new clinical data and unexpected additional analysis of
    existing clinical data; unexpected adverse event reports; competition in general;
    government, industry and general public pricing pressures; the company’s ability to
    obtain or maintain patent or other proprietary intellectual property protection; the impact
    that the foregoing factors could have on the values attributed to the Novartis Group's
    assets and liabilities as recorded in the Group's consolidated balance sheet, and other
    risks and factors referred to in Novartis AG’s current Form 20-F on file with the US
    Securities and Exchange Commission. Should one or more of these risks or
    uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual
    results may vary materially from those anticipated, believed, estimated or expected.
    Novartis is providing the information in this press release as of this date and does not
    4/4 undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained in this
    press release as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

    Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation
    Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation researches, develops, manufactures and markets
    innovative prescription drugs used to treat a number of diseases and conditions,
    including cardiovascular, dermatological, central nervous system, bone disease, cancer,
    organ transplantation, psychiatry, infectious disease and respiratory. The company's
    mission is to improve people's lives by pioneering novel healthcare solutions.
    Located in East Hanover, New Jersey, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation is an
    affiliate of Novartis AG, which provides healthcare solutions that address the evolving
    needs of patients and societies. Focused solely on healthcare, Novartis offers a
    diversified portfolio to best meet these needs: innovative medicines, cost-saving generic
    pharmaceuticals, preventive vaccines, diagnostic tools and consumer health products.
    Novartis is the only company with leading positions in these areas. In 2009, the Group’s
    continuing operations achieved net sales of USD 44.3 billion, while approximately USD
    7.5 billion was invested in R&D activities throughout the Group. Headquartered in Basel,
    Switzerland, Novartis Group companies employ approximately 102,000 full-timeequivalent
    associates and operate in more than 140 countries around the world. For
    more information, please visit
    # # #
    Novartis Media Relations
    Central media line : +41 61 324 2200
    Eric Althoff
    Novartis Global Media Relations
    Phone: +41 61 324 7999
    Mobile: +41 79 593 4202
    Heather Swedin
    Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation
    Phone: 862-778-1414
    Mobile: 917-859-4086

    Back to press release list
    PO Box 5860 Avon, CO 81620 Phone: 970-926-1290 or 800-367-3101 Fax: 970-926-1295 Email:
    MS Coalition Charity Navigator Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers Independent Charities of America Humane Charity

    Can Do Multiple Sclerosis™ is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization.
    Charitable Organization Number: 74-2337853

    Formerly The Heuga Center for Multiple Sclerosis | Founded by Jimmie Heuga

    A national nonprofit organization, Can Do MS is a leading provider of innovative lifestyle empowerment programs
    that empower people with MS and their support partners to transform and improve their quality of life.

    Amazon Smile

    select Can Do MS, and Amazon will donate 0.5%
    of your purchase price to Can Do MS!

    Be the first to know about upcoming MS programs & events. Sign up for our monthly newsletter. - Read More