Since 1992, Britannia has pioneered the development and marketing of products for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease.

We are committed to providing high-quality, ethical solutions that aim improve the lives of Parkinson’s disease patients, educate the healthcare community and provide practical assistance in treatment scenarios.

Parkinson’s is a challenging disease area

One of the key issues for healthcare professionals is how to accurately identify WHEN a patient needs to move from standard treatments to a more complex and bespoke solution.

Historically, patients (who are often elderly and have other health issues) are moved too late. Indeed, a vast number of patients never receive the benefits of non-oral medication, instead staying on increasingly-strong oral regimes long beyond the time it ceases to be effective.

Our goal has always been to produce products and technology that increases the length of time patients are “ON” – meaning their symptoms are controlled rapidly and reliably, and they are able to go about their daily lives with confidence.

Trying to keep patients “ON” is achieved through continuous infusion of apomorphine delivered subcutaneously through a pump or an intermittent injection through a pen device.

Britannia remains committed to making breakthroughs not only in the products we develop, but also in the support patients receive and the value we deliver to our payers and prescribers.

As well as the Britannia nurse team, we provide a 24/7 customer helpline for our product users to help ensure our delivery devices are working correctly and healthcare providers and patients have the support they need.

Parkinson's FAQs

What is Parkinson’s Disease?

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurological condition. It is the second most common age-related neurodegenerative disorder after Alzheimer’s disease.1

The symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are caused by a loss of dopaminergic neurons in the brain which leads to a lack of dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter which is involved in coordinating movement, which is why Parkinson’s often causes problems like shaking, rigidity and difficulty walking.

There is currently no cure for Parkinson’s disease, with treatments focussing on improving and controlling symptoms.

What are the different types of Parkinson’s disease?

Idiopathic Parkinsons

The most common form of Parkinson’s disease is known as “idiopathic Parkinson’s” – which means we don’t know what causes it.

Vascular Parkinson’s

Vascular Parkinson’s is diagnosed when there is an issue with blood supply to the brain.

Juvenile Parkinsonism

Juvenile Parkinsonism – In rare instances, Parkinson’s-like symptoms can appear in children and teenagers. This form of the disorder is called juvenile Parkinsonism and is often associated with specific, high-PD risk genetic mutations.

Drug-induced Parkinson’s

Drug-induced Parkinson’s – is where certain drugs can cause Parkinson’s-like symptoms by blocking dopamine in the brain.

 

What is the prevalence of Parkinson’s disease in the UK and the rest of the world?

In the UK it is estimated that 145,000 people2 are currently diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. This is about 1 in every 350 adults. Globally it is estimated that over 6 million people are currently living with Parkinson’s.3

The disease is typically diagnosed in later life. Only 4% of Parkinson’s patients4 in the UK were under 50 at diagnosis. When a patient is under 50, it is classified as Young Onset Parkinson’s Disease. Symptoms are similar to late onset Parkinson’s, but treatment considerations can be affected by challenges younger patients face around family, financial matters and employment.

Men are 1.5 times more likely than women to develop Parkinson’s disease.5

What are the main symptoms of Parkinson’s disease?

Parkinson’s symptoms can be grouped into two broad categories: Motor and non-motor symptoms.

Motor symptoms can include:

A person with Parkinson's disease can also experience a wide range of other non-motor physical and psychological symptoms, including:

What treatments are available for Parkinson’s disease?

There are many different treatments available for Parkinson’s disease. Oral medication can be effective in the early stages of the disease but its efficacy can reduce as symptoms worsen and the disease progresses. Typically, treatments fall into the following categories:

What does it mean for a patient to be “ON” or “OFF” in terms of their Parkinson’s symptoms?

ON and OFF are broad terms to describe how well a patient’s symptoms are being managed:

ON – When a patient’s medication is working and controlling the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease

OFF – When the effects of the medication start to wear off and the patient’s symptoms return

Patients may also experience dyskinesias which are involuntary movements that people cannot control. These can include twitches, jerks, twisting or writhing movements, and restlessness.

The goal of Parkinson’s therapy is to maximise the amount of time a patient is ON by controlling the way their medication is delivered and ensuring it is working effectively. This can be impacted by a patient’s underlying health, so treatment programmes sometimes need to adapt to ensure symptoms are being kept under control.

Why is GI dysfunction an important consideration in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease?

Gastrointestinal problems are common in patients with Parkinson’s disease and can occur at any stage of the disease.

Your GI health is also an important consideration in determining the right type of treatment as it can impact the absorption of your oral medications, causing them to take longer to relieve symptoms or making them less reliable.

Some of the common GI issues that patients may experience include:

  • Salivary excess
  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • Weight loss
  • Nausea
  • Bloating
  • Delayed gastric emptying (where the stomach takes longer than usual to empty)
  • Decreased bowel movements
  • Constipation

Persistent GI problems might lead to a re-evaluation of treatment pathways, with non-oral therapies considered to be better at ensuring the efficacy of the Parkinson’s medication.

At what point in a patient’s treatment should non-oral therapies be considered?

Parkinson’s is a progressive condition – and that progression is different for each patient. Most Parkinson’s patients begin with oral medication – as levodopa is considered to be the best way of controlling symptoms.

But as the disease progresses, orally-administered levodopa can become less effective.

The decision to move to a non-oral therapy is usually based on a patient’s symptoms and overall health rather than a perceived stage of disease.

For people living with Parkinson’s this may include problems such as:

  • Increasing ON/OFF fluctuations that cannot be controlled with oral medications
  • Disabling dyskinesias
  • The need to take multiple tablets for other conditions each day
  • Issues with delayed effects of oral medications (delayed ON) or dose failures
  • Gastrointestinal problems which affect how the oral medication is absorbed