PHARMACY

FDA issues warning over certain diabetes test strips

BY Alaric DeArment

ROCKVILLE, Md. The Food and Drug Administration issued an advisory Friday warning healthcare practitioners against using a type of glucose test strip in diabetes patients because it may produce falsely high blood-sugar results when the patients are using therapies containing nonglucose sugars.

The FDA said non-glucose sugar products in some products such as peritoneal dialysis solutions and some immunoglobulins, mostly used in patients with kidney failure and rheumatoid arthritis, can falsely elevate glucose results if used along side test strips that use glucose dehydrogenase pyrroloquinoline quinone, which could prompt administration of too much insulin.

Most GDH-PQQ devices are used in healthcare facilities, and Bayer Diabetes Care released a statement earlier saying that its diabetes testing products did not use GDH-PQQ.

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Study finds link between radiation therapy in children, diabetes

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK Children with cancer who undergo a common cancer therapy may be at increased risk of developing diabetes, according to research published recently in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine.

Researchers at Emory University found that childhood cancer survivors who had received total-body or abdominal radiation therapy had increased risk of developing cancer, with the risk increasing more than twofold if they received a cancer diagnosis before age 5, compared with those diagnosed in late adolescence. Out of a total of 8,599 survivors diagnosed before age 21, 2.5% developed diabetes, compared with 1.7% of their 2,936 siblings, apparently regardless of body mass index.

“It is likely that this additional chronic disease in childhood cancer survivors, who frequently also sustain damage to the heart, kidneys and endocrine system, will lead to further morbidity and premature mortality,” the authors of the study wrote. “Therefore, it is imperative that clinicians recognize this risk, screen for diabetes and prediabetes when appropriate and approach survivors with aggressive risk-reducing strategies.”

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Sun sets on company’s acquisition of Taro

BY Alaric DeArment

MUMBAI, India Indian generic drug maker Sun Pharmaceutical Industries’ tender offer to acquire Israeli drug maker Taro Pharmaceutical Industries has expired, Sun announced Thursday.

Sun said it plans to renew its offer to buy the company through subsidiary Alkaloida Chemical Co. Exclusive Group, but the offer is subject to an order issued by the Supreme Court of Israel prohibiting its closing until the court resolves litigation against Alkaloida by Taro concerning the application of Israeli laws regulating mergers and acquisitions.

Sun has sought to acquire Taro since June 2008. As of Wednesday, more than 32,000 shares of Taro had been tendered.

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