NOC Watch – Vitaros, Daxas

February 2011

Vitaros® (alprostadil)

A new product for men with erectile dysfunction (ED) has recently been approved by Health Canada, signifying its upcoming release onto the Canadian market.  The active ingredient in Vitaros®, alprostadil, is the same vasodilator (an agent which dilates blood vessels and increases blood flow) that has been used to treat ED for many years, but until recently, has only been available as an injection or suppository.  What makes Vitaros® unique is that it is a cream that is applied directly to the penis – the first of its kind on the market.

Vitaros® is absorbed through the skin, and has an onset time of just minutes – considerably faster than the onset time of over 30 minutes for the oral ED drugs.  Vitaros® may also represent an opportunity for men that are unable to use or tolerate any of the existing oral therapies. Pricing information is not yet available for Vitaros®.

Daxas® (roflumilast)

Daxas® represents the introduction of the first new class of medication used in the management of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) onto the Canadian market in over 10 years. Targeting COPD specific inflammation, this new drug utilizes a completely different mechanism of action than those of current therapies focused on making breathing easier for COPD patients.

Daxas® has been shown to improve lung function and reduce episodes of disease exacerbation without causing additional adverse effects.  Administered orally once daily, Daxas® is a chronic medication indicated for the treatment of severe COPD in combination with other chronic medications (i.e. bronchodilators) currently used to treat COPD. Pricing information is currently unavailable for Daxas®.

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