UCB has once again started selling its Neupro patch in the USA for Parkinson's disease and restless legs syndrome.

The Belgian drugmaker notes that the treatment is now available in US pharmacies after getting the green light from the Food and Drug Administration in April to treat the signs and symptoms of early and advanced stage idiopathic PD and moderate-to-severe primary RLS. Neupro is a once-daily patch that provides continuous delivery of the dopamine agonist rotigotine for 24 hours.

The treatment was initially approved by the FDA in 2007, but Neupro patches were withdrawn from the US market in April 2008 due to crystallisation problems. The European Commission lifted related treatment restrictions on Neupro in June 2009 and sales last year rose 16% to 95 million euros.

UCB chief executive Roch Doliveux said the availability of Neupro in the USA "is an important step forward". The company notes that one million Americans are currently living with PD, while up to 23 million may be affected by RLS.

Joseph Jankovic of the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, noted that PD and RLS "are serious, neurological diseases", saying that their "often unpredictable, debilitating nature…can require consistent, sustained symptom control throughout the day and night".