generic pharmaceuticals division of Novartis, has launched the first-to-market
generic medicine for the treatment of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD);
as it’s known in medical circles. GORD, is a digestive system disorder that
affects the lower oesophageal sphincter, the muscle connecting the oesophagus
with the stomach. Other symptoms associated with GORD include asthma, chest
pain and sleep disturbance.
lifestyle diseases are on the increase. In South Africa alone, more than 4.2
million boxes of prescription medicine for digestive system disorders are sold
annually. Poor diet and a stressful lifestyle are contributing factors.
shows that patients with heartburn are bothered and even incapacitated by their
symptoms, and that their health-related quality of life is impaired as a
result. Patients with heartburn experience worse pain, social functioning and
emotional wellbeing than those with diabetes, hypertension and acute coronary
diseases, coupled with high costs make it increasingly difficult for South
African patients to access affordable treatment for their healthcare problems.
Medical aids often do not pay for medicines that treat gastro-oesophageal
reflux disease, out of chronic benefits, therefore it is mostly funded out of
the acute/savings portion of medical aids,” says Carnie van der Linde, Sandoz
Country Head for South East Africa.
suffer from heartburn or acid indigestion caused by GORD. Certain foods and
beverages, including chocolate, peppermint, fried or fatty foods, coffee,
citrus or alcoholic beverages, may cause reflux and heartburn. In most cases,
heartburn can be relieved through diet and lifestyle changes; however, some
people may require medication daily or surgery to manage the disease.
Proton pump inhibitors (PPI), such as Sandoz’s
solution for heartburn are often the solution for sufferers who have tried
other alternatives. The Sandoz solution for heartburn is effective in acid
“This is an
exciting time for Sandoz, we are increasing access for chronic sufferers of
GORD who have been paying cash for medicines”, says van der Linde.