Saturday, May 20, 2006

Curanail - antifungal nail paint moves from POM to P

Amorolfine 5 per cent nail lacquer has this week been launched as a pharmacy medicine. Marketed as Curanail by Galderma, the product becomes the first once-weekly over-the-counter treatment for fungal nail infection (onychomycosis).

Customers who come into the pharmacy with onychomycosis can now be reviewed and treated by a pharmacist. The pharmacy medicine is indicated for use by patients over 18 years with mild cases of distal and lateral subungual onychomycosis affecting up to two nails. Patients with more severe disease and the involvement of more than two nails should be referred to their GP.

Children, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding and patients with certain underlying conditions also need to be referred.The lacquer is applied to the affected nails once a week until the fungal areas have cleared and the healthy nail has regenerated — a process that can take around six months for fingernails and nine to 12 months for toenails.

Kamal Abbasi, marketing manager at Galderma, told The Journal that there was mostly a positive response to the switch during the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency consultation.

He said that the main concern raised was about how pharmacists could ensure an accurate diagnosis of infection. “The questions were primarily focused on diagnosis and training … but there is the full support of dermatologists and podiatrists,” he added.

Christie Wicks, Galderma’s training and development manager, said: “In the past, patients have needed to take the time to go to a GP, but won’t, either because of embarrassment or because they didn’t think it was serious enough to warrant the time of a GP appointment.”

According to Galderma, Curanail has the advantage of once-weekly application through its formulation, which, when applied and the lacquer has dried, leaves a 25 per cent-strength, non-water soluble film on the nail surface for one week. “There are no known drug interactions and because it is topically applied … there is minimal systemic absorption and the potential for side effects is decreased,” said Ms Wicks.

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society has published practice guidance (PDF 90K) to assist pharmacists in selling the product.

Sadia Khan, the Society’s lead pharmacist for self care, commented: “Making amorolfine nail lacquer available without a prescription is a safe, effective and convenient route to treatment for customers presenting with mild cases of suspected fungal nail infection.”

A pharmacist training pack has also been produced by the company and accredited by the College of Pharmacy Practice.

Training packs are being sent out to all pharmacies in the coming weeks, ahead of the product hitting pharmacy shelves.

Recommended retail price, 3ml: £18.61

John was delighted to be part of the team that facillitated this switch and wishes Galderma all the best with Curanail.


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