Leticia Moreinos Schwartz to promote Type 2 diabetes awareness among Hispanics
WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. — Drug maker Merck has hired celebrity chef and cookbook author Leticia Moreinos Schwartz as a spokeswoman to reach out to Hispanics living with Type 2 diabetes, the drug maker said Friday.
The company has launched a campaign titled Cuida tu Diabetes, Cuida tu Corazon (Taking Diabetes to Heart) to educate Hispanics on small lifestyle changes. Schwartz will visit several cities to show how traditional dishes can be made healthy without compromising taste while educating people with the disease on how to live a healthier lifestyle. Schwartz will also take part in the American Diabetes Association’s Feria de Salud at Calle Ocho event in Miami on Sunday.
"My grandfather died from complications from his Type 2 diabetes, so I know how important it is for people living with Type 2 diabetes to manage their disease to help reduce their risk of serious complications, such as heart disease and stroke," Schwartz said. "In the Hispanic community, we all take to heart our families, our food, our culture and our community activities, and diabetes impacts all of these aspects of our lives."
According to Merck, Type 2 diabetes affects Hispanic Americans more than other ethnic groups, and they have a 66% higher risk of being diagnosed with it than non-Hispanic whites; nearly 12% are diagnosed with diabetes, one of the highest rates among any ethnic group.
Fla. bill allows biosimilar, branded substitution
A new bill (HB 365) in Florida’s state legislature would allow pharmacists to substitute biosimilars for branded biotech drugs, according to published reports. The Sarasota Herald-Tribune reported that the Health Quality Subcommittee of the Florida House of Representatives approved a bill that would allow for substitution while requiring pharmacists to notify prescribing physicians within five days and require the doctor and pharmacist to maintain a record for at least four years. A similar bill (SB 732) is pending in the Florida Senate, according to reports.
According to the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association, Florida is 1-of-10 states where biosimilar legislation is pending. Other states include Arkansas, Colorado, Indiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, North Dakota, Texas, Virginia and Washington.
Senators push to ban pay-tor-delay deals
WASHINGTON — Republican and Democratic senators have re-introduced legislation that would ban patent settlements between branded and generic drug companies that critics allege violate antitrust laws, according to published reports.
Reuters reported that Sens. Amy Klo-buchar, D-Minn., and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, were sponsoring a bill to ban so-called "pay-for-delay" settlements. Critics of such settlements say they delay patients’ access to cheaper generic drugs, while drug makers say the settlements are often necessary to allow generics to launch ahead of branded drugs’ loss of patent protection, and that delaying generic launch beyond patent expiry would be illegal anyway.
Branded and generic drug makers alike have strongly opposed attempts to ban the patent settlements, saying that requiring cases to go to trial will only further delay the availability of generics. Industry opposition has contributed to the defeat of previous bills to ban them, Reuters noted.