HEALTH

Decision Resources: More patients switch to Onglyza from Merck’s Type 2 diabetes drugs

BY Alaric DeArment

BURLINGTON, Mass. Many Type 2 diabetes patients who use the drug Onglyza (saxagliptin) switched to that drug from Merck’s Januvia (sitagliptin) and Janumet (sitagliptin and metformin), according to a new report by market research firm Decision Resources.

 

The report found that 9.3% of patients for whom Onglyza –– made by Bristol-Myers Squibb and AstraZeneca –– was not their first Type 2 diabetes drug had previously used Januvia, while 7.9% had used Janumet. All three drugs belong to the same class, known as DPP-IV inhibitors.

 

 

“While about half of physicians we surveyed predict their prescribing of Onglyza will increase over the next two years, and Onglyza has picked up some patient share from Januvia and Janumet, Januvia’s more favorable formulary positioning and noncoverage of Onglyza will remain important hurdles for Onglyza’s uptake,” Decision Resources analyst Kate Sullivan said.

 

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Walgreens continues vitamin D giveaway program with Aetna, United Way

BY Allison Cerra

COLUMBIA , S.C. (May 27) One of the nation’s largest drug store chains has teamed up with a healthcare benefits company and a community solutions provider to raise awareness of the need for adequate vitamin D intake.

Walgreens, Aetna and United Way of the Midlands are continuing their efforts through a vitamin D giveaway program extension, which initially was kicked off earlier this year. The vitamin D awareness efforts will donate more than 25,000 samples, the companies said.

“We are pleased to continue our participation in this program to drive awareness around a health concern that’s seldom discussed in many communities,” said Richard Ashworth, Walgreens market VP. “Our goal is for more people to be informed that supporting a proper diet and healthy lifestyle with a vitamin D supplement is a simple step that can have long-term health benefits.”

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NACDS Foundation supports NCL’s medication adherence awareness campaign

BY Allison Cerra

ALEXANDRIA, Va. The charitable arm of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores announced its $1 million contribution to the National Consumers League’s medication adherence awareness campaign.

 

NACDS Foundation said that the NCL is leading the national multimedia effort targeting people with chronic conditions and healthcare practitioners — with additional intensive outreach in a handful of markets across the country — to inform consumers of the possible health and financial burdens that can be experienced when medication is not correctly taken.

 

Poor medication adherence is estimated to cost the healthcare system $290 billion a year, according to the New England Healthcare Institute.

 

“Helping to raise public awareness about the importance of taking prescriptions as prescribed by their doctors is one of our top priorities at the NACDS Foundation, and we are proud to be a major supporter of the campaign,” said Edith Rosato, president of the NACDS Foundation. “It is vital to public health to chip away at the hurdles preventing consumers from taking medication as prescribed and improving their health and lowering overall healthcare costs. The Foundation looks forward to actively engaging in the campaign and helping to ensure its success.”

 

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