Prescribing Advice for GPs

An NHS Prescribing Advisers' Blog

ACWY Vax antibody persistence shorter than expected

The manufacturer of ACWY Vax® has written to healthcare professionals advising that antibody titres wane after between one and two years, not at least three years as stated in the product literature.

Recent studies for a new meningococcal vaccine used the ACWY Vax as a comparator. Analysis of two of these studies identified reduced serum bacterial antibody titres one year post-vaccination when using human compliment in the assay.

Individuals who remain at high risk of exposure to Neisseria meningitides may require re-vaccination and earlier than is currently recommended in the current product literature.

It has already been announced that ACWY Vax is being discontinued this year.

Action: Clinicians who use and administer meningococcal vaccines should be aware of this new information and the need to consider earlier re-vaccination if necessary for previous recipients of ACWY Vax.

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SMC Update - May 2014

The Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) has issued its monthly advice on newly licensed medicines.

Aripiprazole injection (Abilify Maintena®) has been accepted for use as a maintenance treatment of schizophrenia in adult patients stabilised with oral aripiprazole. The review notes that this treatment is as effective as oral aripiprazole in reducing the risk of relapse over 26 weeks in stabilised schizophrenic patients.

Cobicistat (Tybost®) has been rejected for use as a pharmacokinetic enhancer of atazanavir or darunavir as part of antiretroviral combination therapy in human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) infected adults. The manufacturer failed to make a submission.

Dolutegravir (Tivicay®) has been accepted for use in combination with other antiretroviral medicinal products for the treatment of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infected adults and adolescents above 12 years of age. The review notes that a patient access scheme (PAS) that improves the cost-effectiveness of dolutegravir.

Action: Clinicians should be aware of the recommendations of the SMC. Routine use of rejected and restricted medicines should be avoided.

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