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Sustained Release Ritalin SR Available Next Week

Novartis New Zealand announced today that the sustained release version of Ritalin (methylphenidate) will become available on 1 November 2000. From this date, the medication, which is used for the treatment of ADHD (attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder) and narcolepsy, will be fully funded on the Pharmaceutical Schedule.

Until now, only the 10mg dose of Ritalinhas been available.

Novartis' Head of Medical and Regulatory Affairs, Dr Sean Evans, says that patients who are prescribed sustained release Ritalin SR, will no longer have to take their Ritalin to school.

"Unlike the 10mg Ritalin, Ritalin SR will alleviate the necessity to take a midday dose, and consequently the risk of any problems in schools will be minimised."

Novartis is a world leader in healthcare with core businesses in pharmaceuticals, consumer health, generics, eye-care, and animal health. In 1998, the Group (including Agribusiness) achieved sales of $40 billion and invested more than $4.6 billion in R&D. Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Novartis employs about 82 000 people and operates in over 140 countries around the world.

ends

For further information please contact
Dr Sean Evans or Steve Grbic
Head of Medical and Regulatory Affairs Core Communications
Novartis New Zealand tel 09 360 1476
tel 09 828 3149 email steveg@corecom.co.nz



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