Medunik USA sponsors video series to support parents caring for their child’s sickle cell disease, which is causing morbidity and mortality to the African American community.
ROSEMONT, PA, June 22, 2020 – Sickle cell anemia patients and their families can learn more about the disease in a new video series sponsored by Medunik USA, a company dedicated to improving the health and quality of life of Americans with rare diseases.
Entitled “What You Need to Know About Sickle Cell Anemia”, the four-part video series is hosted by Dr. Corey Hebert, MD, Chief Medical Officer at Dillard University and well-known medical broadcast journalist from various national television networks and outlets.
“Sickle cell disease is causing major morbidity and mortality to the African-American community and with the help of these informative videos I want to see the needle moved in the right direction”, said Dr. Hebert, a paid spokesperson for Medunik USA. The videos provide information on symptoms and aim to help parents better understand the disease following their child’s diagnosis, including treatment options.
Our society continues to suffer from the wounds of racial injustice, economic inequality and disparities in access to quality healthcare. This is evident on a large scale with how the African American community has been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. This problem is also apparent when talking about diseases and conditions that primarily affect African American's like sickle cell anemia and it is time to talk about what can be done to help treat this genetic disorder.
100,000 Americans Affected by Sickle Cell Disease
Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a rare, inherited blood disorder, causing debilitating pain and disability, and decreasing life expectancy by 25 to 30 years. It is characterized by the presence of sickle or crescent-shaped red blood cells that become stuck in the blood vessels, blocking blood flow, thus causing crippling pain and organ damage, which require hospitalization.
An Online Educational Resource
“At Medunik USA, our mission is to provide Americans who have rare diseases with the life-changing and potentially life-saving treatment options they deserve”, indicated Tanya Carro, General Manager, Medunik USA. “Families who have a child with a rare disease like sickle cell anemia may feel ‘orphaned’ by the healthcare system and left to cope alone. We are hoping that the videos will provide much needed support and information to parents caring for a sick child.”
Siklos®: The Importance of Early Treatment
Early treatment of symptoms is key to helping pediatric sickle cell disease patients live a healthier childhood. Medunik USA is proud to hold the exclusive rights to market and distribute Siklos® (hydroxyurea) in the United States. Siklos® has a Boxed Warning regarding low blood cell counts and cancer; please read Important Safety Information below.
Siklos® is the first and only FDA-approved hydroxyurea-based treatment for use in pediatric patients with sickle cell anemia. It is indicated to reduce the frequency of painful crises and the need for blood transfusions in children, 2 years of age and older, with sickle cell anemia with recurrent moderate to severe painful crises. Moreover, Siklos® is available in triple-scored 1,000 mg tablets and 100 mg tablets to help optimize dosing.
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About SIKLOS® (hydroxyurea)
Siklos® is a prescription medicine that is used to reduce the frequency of painful crises and reduce the need for blood transfusions in children, 2 years of age and older, with sickle cell anemia with recurrent moderate to severe painful crises. It is not known if Siklos® is safe and effective in children less than 2 years of age.
WARNING: LOW BLOOD CELL COUNT and CANCER
See full prescribing information for complete Boxed Warning.
- Low blood cell counts are common with Siklos®, including low red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets, and can be severe and life threatening. If your white blood cell count becomes very low, you are at increased risk for infection. Your healthcare provider will check your blood cell counts before and during treatment with Siklos®. Your healthcare provider may change your dose or tell you to stop taking Siklos® if you have low blood cell counts. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you get any of the following symptoms: fever or chills; shortness of breath; body aches; unusual headache; feeling very tired; bleeding or unexplained bruising.
- Cancer. Some people have developed cancer, such as leukemia and skin cancer, after taking Siklos® for a long time. Your healthcare provider will check you for cancer. You should protect your skin from the sun using sunblock, hats, and sun-protective clothing.
WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT INFORMATION YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT SIKLOS®?
- Siklos® can harm your unborn baby.
- For females taking Siklos® who can become pregnant:
- You should talk with your healthcare provider about the risks of Siklos® to your unborn baby.
- You should use effective birth control during treatment with Siklos® and for at least 6 months after treatment with Siklos®.
- Your healthcare provider will perform a pregnancy test before you start treatment with Siklos®. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant.
- For males taking Siklos®. Siklos® can affect your sperm. If you have a female sexual partner who can become pregnant, you should use effective birth control during treatment with Siklos® and for at least 6 months after treatment.
- Siklos® may cause fertility problems in males. Talk to your healthcare provider if this is a concern for you.
WHO SHOULD NOT TAKE SIKLOS®?
Do not take Siklos® if you are allergic to hydroxyurea or any of the ingredients in Siklos®. See the Medication Guide for a list of the ingredients in Siklos®.
WHAT SHOULD YOU TELL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER BEFORE TAKING SIKLOS®?
Tell your healthcare provider about all of your medical conditions, including if you:
- Have kidney problems or are receiving hemodialysis
- Have liver problems
- Have human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or take HIV medicines. Taking Siklos® with certain HIV medicines can cause serious reactions and may lead to death.
- Have increased levels of uric acid in your blood (hyperuricemia)
- Have a history of receiving interferon therapy or are currently receiving interferon therapy
- Have leg wounds or ulcers
- Plan to receive any vaccinations. You should not receive “live vaccines” during treatment with Siklos®.
- Are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. See “What is the most important information I should know about Siklos®?
- Are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if Siklos® can pass into your breast milk. Do not breastfeed during treatment with Siklos®.
Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
WHAT ARE THE POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS OF SIKLOS®?
Siklos® may cause serious side effects, including:
See “What is the most important information I should know about Siklos®?
- Skin ulcers, including leg ulcers have happened in people taking Siklos®. This has happened most often in people who receive interferon therapy or have a history of interferon therapy. Your healthcare provider will decrease your dose or stop treatment with Siklos® if you develop any skin ulcers.
- Enlarged red blood cells (macrocytosis). Macrocytosis is common in people who take Siklos® and can make it difficult to detect a decrease of folic acid. Your healthcare provider may prescribe a folic acid supplement for you.
The most common side effects include:
- Skin Problems (e.g., skin reactions, dry skin, changes in skin and nail color)
- Stomach and intestine (gastrointestinal) problems (e.g. nausea, constipation)
- Decrease in Vitamin D
- Weight gain
These are not all the possible side effects of Siklos®.
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Please read the Full Prescribing Information, including Boxed Warning, Medication Guide and Instructions for Use at www.siklosusa.com
For more information about Siklos®, we invite you to contact our Medical Information Service at 1 844-884-5520 or https://www.medunikusa.com/en/medical-information-service
About Medunik USA
Based in Pennsylvania, Medunik USA works to improve the health and quality of life of Americans living with rare diseases by making orphan drug therapies available in the United States. With strategic partnerships at the global level, the company has critical experience in approval and market access processes as well as the marketing of orphan drug therapies. Medunik USA makes critical medications to treat rare diseases available to American patients who might not otherwise have access to these medications. For more information, visit: www.medunikusa.com.