MSD Elonva – A boon for Infertility in the UAE

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During an event hosted at the Grand Hyatt in Dubai today, MSD announced the launch of a new fertility treatment; MSD Elonva, that is expected to bring new hope to thousands of couples across the country. (MSD Elonva Corifollitropin alfa)

Already a global issue, infertility affects an estimated 48.5 million couples worldwide.

In medical terms, a couple is considered to have fertility issues, if they are unable conceive after one year of unprotected, well-timed intercourse, or after six months if a woman is 35 or older.

For many patients the only hope of conceiving is through IVF therapy an intensive and expensive therapy which requires daily injections of gonadotropin to stimulate the development of egg cells.

MSD Elonva

Considered to be one of the biggest breakthroughs in the treatment of infertility in the last 10 years, the new treatment option will allow patients to take a single injection of Corifollitropin Alfa, over the course of a week, rather than the daily injection of gonadotropin.

Infertility Fact File:

  • Infertility is a serious problem that affects an estimated 48.5 million couples around the globe, placing a severe emotional burden on couples who are unable to conceive.
  • It is estimated that 1-in-6 couples in the UAE face infertility problems.
  • Despite the very real impact this has on the lives of families who are struggling to conceive, awareness of this issue remains low, and treatment options can be both extremely expensive and invasive.
  • For many patients the only hope of conceiving is through IVF therapy an intensive and expensive therapy which requires daily injections of gonadotropin to stimulate the development of egg cells.

Talking about infertility in the UAE, Mr. Mazen Altaruti, Managing Director of MSD in the Gulf, said; “Infertility places a significant burden, both financial and emotional, on couples that are unable to conceive. In the Middle East, the emotional stigma is perhaps even higher due to the pressure couples face from family and friends to get pregnant right away. An estimated Dhs 20,000 may be spent by each couple in their efforts to get pregnant. To be able to raise awareness of this issue and educate couples on the reasons for infertility and the treatment options available, is crucial if we are to truly address the burden these couples face.”

MSD Elonva® A viable alternative

“It’s a great honor for us to announce that we are indeed the first medical department in the Arab world to start using this drug, in the whole of the Middle East. The DHA has always endeavored to provide improved services to our patients without compromising on quality. As you all know, the emotional burden that IVF patients face is immense and in many cases, they drop out, as they simply find it too hard to go through the grueling process of the daily required injections prescribed. Understanding this burden, and with constant research in association with leading companies in this field, we arrived at the practical solution, of offering an injection; Elonva, which needs to be taken only once in seven days, which will significantly reduce the number of injections patients must receive while undergoing treatment, thus reducing the stress and hospital visits, as well as financial burden. Our doctors are well-informed and knowledgeable on the use of this medication. We hope that the new drug will mark a huge difference in the satisfaction level of our patients. Patients are most welcome to consult our doctors in DGFC for their treatment. — Dr. Awatif Juma Al Bahar, Medical Director, Dubai Gynaecology & Fertility Centre, Dubai Health Authority (explaining why IVF therapy is used)

In women fertility rates started drop dramatically after the age of 35, and with greater urbanization and the growing role women are playing in the work force, the age at which women choose to have children is getting older. This creates a new challenge for many women, resulting in greater difficulty in conceiving. Traditionally, IVF requires a daily injection gonadotropin, for a period of 10 days, a treatment regimen that is emotionally draining for most women who have gone through the process. Corifollitropin Alfa (Elonva)will offer a new option for women, who have to go through the process of IVF, reducing the complexity and emotional burden that daily injections create by replacing 7 daily injections that gonadotropin requires, with one single injection.” — Dr. Human M. Fatemi, Senior Medical Director for the Centre of Reproductive Medicine in Brussels, and Director of the Burjeel Hospital Centre of Reproductive Medicine.

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MSD Team : Image provided

Dr. Fatemi, went on to add “Studies have already shown that this treatment option offers the same efficacy as traditional infertility treatments and has been known to achieve more than 38% pregnancy success rates, from the first cycle, with up to 33% of women not needing complementary injections after the 7th day of stimulation.”

The burden of infertility can be immense and have many emotional aspects. Feelings of anger, sadness and guilt are common and may affect self-esteem and self-image leading to isolation among involuntarily childless people.

Prior to and during treatment these feelings can be manifested in depression, anxiety, relationship problems with partner, family and friends and an increased sense of self-blame and guilt, particularly for the partner experiencing fertility problem.

About MSD, UAE:

MSD has had presence in the UAE since the 1970’s, and currently has one office in Dubai and one in Abu Dhabi with 83 employees. MSD considers UAE as a priority country and continues to make efforts to rapidly introduce innovative medicines for patients in the UAE with a focus on unmet needs of patients, i.e. diabetes, cardiovascular, and several pioneering, novel, vaccines. MSD in the UAE is committed to excellence in science, and has been focusing on clinical research activities in the region.

MSD works closely with customers to understand their needs and help them achieve their goals of patient care. In the past, MSD has already been partnering with health care authorities in the UAE on various programs, including an internet-based continuous medical education for health care professionals. With the approval of UAE Ministry of Health, MSD also developed diabetes patient education materials in English and Arabic, which is distributed to all clinics and health centers.

About MSD

MSD is a global healthcare leader working to help the world be well. MSD is a trade name of Merck & Co. Inc. with headquarters in Whitehouse Station, N.J., U.S.A. Through our prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, and consumer care and animal health products, we work with customers and operate in more than 140 countries to deliver innovative health solutions. We also demonstrate our commitment to increasing access to healthcare through far-reaching policies, programs and partnerships.

For more information, visit www.merck.com and connect with us on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

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