Japan welcomes Neupro patch for restless legs and Parkinson's

In a holiday present to people with Parkinson's disease and restless legs syndrome, the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare approved the transdermal patch Neupro in Japan on Dec. 25 for those two conditions.

Belgium-based UCB originally developed the patch, and then Otsuka Pharmaceutical licensed rights in Japan in 2002. The patch is now available in 35 countries worldwide, and has been used by more than 120,000 patients.

The transdermal patch is replaced daily and delivers the dopamine agonist rotigotine over 24 hours, providing a more even delivery of the drug. This is particularly helpful for people with restless legs syndrome who get the unpleasant itching and crawling symptoms during the day as well as in the evening, and for people with Parkinson's disease who have problems falling asleep, or who find they have difficulty moving first thing in the morning. Neupro also makes drug treatment easier for both patients and caregivers.

"UCB has a long-standing partnership with Otsuka Pharmaceutical ... Otsuka Pharmaceutical's leadership and expertise in CNS will provide an excellent platform to introduce rotigotine to Japanese healthcare professionals," said Iris Loew-Friedrich, chief medical officer and executive vice president of UCB.

- read the press release from Otsuka
- see the press release from UCB