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BMS, AstraZeneca drug added to insulin reduces blood sugar more than placebo

BY Alaric DeArment

PRINCETON, N.J. — A diabetes drug made by Bristol-Myers Squibb and AstraZeneca significantly reduced Type 2 diabetes patients’ blood-sugar levels, compared with placebo, when added to insulin, according to results of a new study.

The two companies presented results of a 24-week extension to a 52-week study of Onglyza (saxagliptin) at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes’ 47th annual meeting in Lisbon, Portugal; they had presented results from the original study at the American Diabetes Association’s scientific sessions in San Diego in June.

The phase-3b study found that patients taking 5 mg of Onglyza with insulin had a 0.75% reduction in HbA1C, compared with 0.38% of those taking insulin and placebo.

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Walgreens, ESI dispute moves to arbitration following court decision

BY Michael Johnsen

CHICAGO — U.S. District Court judge Marvin Aspen ruled in favor of Walgreens on Thursday; Express Scripts’ federal suit against Walgreens will be halted pending arbitration.

The Express Scripts charges against Walgreens of breach of contract now will move to arbitration. Express Scripts originally had objected to arbitration because the process would be too slow. However, there may be some sense of urgency as Judge Aspen scheduled a status hearing for Dec. 8.

"We are very pleased with the court’s decision today, in which Judge Aspen agreed that Express Scripts brought its claims in the wrong forum, granted our motion and ordered Express Scripts to abide by its contractual obligations and submit the matter to binding arbitration," Walgreens spokesman Michael Polzin said.

Express Scripts also was satisfied with the ruling. "We are pleased the court recognized the importance of getting this decided quickly," Thom Gross, Express Scripts senior manager communications, shared with Drug Store News in an email. "The court effectively said delay is not an option. We are perfectly happy to go to arbitration — we just want a quick resolution," he noted. "We will continue to pursue injunctive relief either in arbitration or in federal court."

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American Diabetes Association: NIH, NIDDK aid fight to stop diabetes

BY Allison Cerra

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases play an important role in discovering innovative ways to address the growing diabetes epidemic in the United States, the American Diabetes Association said at a congressional briefing.

The briefing, "Advancing Discovery: The Role of NIH Research in Fighting Diabetes," was held in conjunction with the Ad-Hoc Group for Medical Research, a coalition of national organizations that support federal funding for the NIH, and cosponsored by the ADA.

The briefing was held as members of Congress are mulling ways to fund federal programs in fiscal year 2012. NIDDK, which is 1-of-27 NIH institutes, is the primary federal agency that conducts research to find a cure for diabetes and improve diabetes care, the ADA said.

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