Tolmar Pharmaceuticals maintains a complete inventory of Eligard (leuprolide acetate), its therapy for advanced prostate cancer, and had increased production in response to reports of shortages of other leuprolide acetate products in the U.S., the company announced.
As of Aug. 25, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration listed three formulations of Lupron Depot (leuprolide acetate) as unavailable and/or on backorder for an unknown duration on the administration’s drug shortage information database.
“Tolmar is pleased to step up production in our state-of-the-art cGMP [Current Good Manufacturing Practice] facilities to help ensure that advanced prostate cancer patients across the U.S. won’t miss a single injection in their treatment plan,” Anil D’Souza, Tolmar’s CEO, said in a press release. “Eligard has always been manufactured to the highest quality standards in our Northern Colorado plants, and we are able to fill any short or long-term gaps in the supply of this drug for those who need it.”
“During the global COVID-19 pandemic, cancer patients, providers and others in the urology and uro-oncology community should not have an added concern about the supply of a vital medication,” D’Souza added.
Eligard is an injectable medication used in the palliative care of men with advanced prostate cancer. The treatment is a form of androgen deprivation therapy, meaning that it lowers blood levels of testosterone, which is known to stimulate the growth of prostate cancer.
Specifically, Eligard is a luteinizing hormone (LH)-releasing hormone agonist, meaning that it works by blocking other hormones that are needed to make testosterone. This type of therapy initially stimulates LH production, but continuing high doses ultimately stops production of LH in the pituitary gland and of testosterone in the testicles.
As with other medications of the same class, Eligard may temporarily cause a burst of testosterone, which is called a “testosterone flare.” As such, these therapies are usually given in combination with an anti-androgen therapy during the first weeks of treatment.
Eligard is designed to be given monthly or in controlled-release doses at intervals of three, four, or six months.
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