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of everyone affected by epilepsy

AstraZeneca confirms UK supply of Mysoline until December 2006

14 October, 2003

The pharmaceutical
company AstraZeneca has
confirmed that it will be able to extend the supply of anti-epileptic
drug Mysoline (primidone) in the UK until
the
end of 2006.

In a statement, the
company indicated it was continuing to "aggressively pursue
opportunities" to seek an alternative manufacturer of the drug, in order
to ensure a continued supply after 2006.

The statement comes
after intense media interest and pressure from Epilepsy Action and
other patient groups and drugs professionals. AstraZeneca first announced
in August that the drug was to be withdrawn at the end of 2003.

Epilepsy Action welcomes AstraZeneca's
announcement. Philip Lee, Chief Executive said:

"The confirmed extended
supply does ensure a large overlap whilst an alternative supplier is
found. This will be a great relief to the
thousands of epilepsy patients taking Mysoline in the UK. We would like
to thank AstraZeneca for their quick response and their commitment to
finding a different manufacturer for Mysoline."

A spokesman for the
charity added that the recent events surrounding Mysoline had highlighted
the need for an urgent review of Department
of
Health
guidelines
on the
discontinuation
of drugs and that
Epilepsy
Action would be lobbying Government for a thorough review of the guidelines
so this situation cannot arise again.