NPS RADAR reviews new medicines for Parkinson’s disease and antiplatelet therapy

The August edition of NPS RADAR – which independently reviews new medicines considered for listing on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) – looks at rasagiline for treatment of Parkinson’s disease and the findings of the PRODIGY study into the duration of dual antiplatelet therapy.

Included in this issue are reviews on:

Rasagiline (Azilect) for Parkinson’s disease – available online

Rasagiline (brand name Azilect) is a new monoamine oxidase type-B (MAO-B) inhibitor to treat symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. People diagnosed before 70 years of age are at increased risk of developing levodopa-associated motor complications and may benefit from using rasagiline to delay levodopa therapy.

“Rasagiline may be suitable for people presenting with less severe Parkinson’s disease symptoms or levodopa-associated motor complications and is an option for people when side effects restrict the use or dopamine agonists or entacapone,” says NPS clinical adviser Dr Philippa Binns.

Rasagiline may not be suitable for people already on antidepressants and specialist advice is recommended before combining rasagiline with antidepressants.

PRODIGY study: duration of dual antiplatelet therapy under review

When medicines are first marketed, information about long-term outcomes is limited. The PRODIGY study reviewed and compared the effects of six and 24 month courses of clopidogrel in combination with aspirin on cardiovascular outcomes and bleeding at 2 years after coronary stent insertion. The study found similar effectiveness, but increased bleeding risk.

“The study highlights the need for a review of dual antiplatelet therapy at 12 months – the duration recommended by current Australian guidelines. For most people the benefit of treatment beyond this period may not be sufficient to offset the risk of a major bleed,” says Dr Binns.

Brief information on the following PBS listing changes is also included in this edition of NPS RADAR:

  • Synthetic infant formulas for protein intolerances
  • Bone mineral density T-score cut-off changed in demosumab (Prolia) osteoporosis PBS listing

To read the full reviews go to

NPS RADAR is a timely, independent publication published by NPS providing the latest evidence-based assessments of new drugs, PBS listings and the latest research for GPs, pharmacists and other health professionals.

To learn how to evaluate the evidence, the free NPS online learning program Finding Evidence – Recognising Hype teaches critical appraisal and other skills.


Independent, evidence-based and not-for-profit, NPS MedicineWise enables better decisions about medicines and medical tests. We are funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing.