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Shingles Pain Treatment Will Benefit More Patients
Date:8/21/2008

LONDON, August 21 /PRNewswire/ -- The medicated pain relief plaster, (Versatis) is now approved by the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) for restricted use within NHS Scotland for patients suffering pain following shingles(1) http://www.scottishmedicines.org.uk/smc/5850.html. This reversal of the previous SMC decision (issued in February 2007) for Versatis (5% lidocaine medicated plaster) is based on significant new clinical and cost-effectiveness comparative data and brings prescribing availability of the treatment in line with England and Wales. These new data on Versatis will be presented for the first time at the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) Congress in Glasgow (17-22 August 2008).

The pain that persists for more than three months after the onset of the shingles rash is called Post-herpetic Neuralgia (PHN) (2). PHN affects approximately 200,000 people in the UK(3). PHN can be described as an incessant burning, stabbing or shooting pain. The pain can start several weeks or even months after the shingles rash has gone and can continue for weeks, months or years(4).

Licensed in the UK in 2007, Versatis offers sustained pain relief associated with PHN(5). Versatis is an innovative combination of local analgesic lidocaine and a soft hydrogel plaster. Application of the plaster to the skin releases an appropriate level of lidocaine into the skin to impair the transfer of signals which would be associated with the perception of pain.

Based on clinical trial data, Versatis is used as a continuous once-daily 12 hours on/12 hours off application schedule for 2-4 weeks and provides rapid and continuous pain relief from 30 minutes after application(6).

Dr Michael Serpell, Consultant and Senior Lecturer in Anaesthesia, Glasgow says: "The new recommendation from the SMC is to be welcomed. New data supporting the role of Versatis in post-
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SOURCE Grunenthal Ltd
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