PHARMACY

Pfizer inks deal with Biocon

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK Pfizer has entered the world of biosimilars through a deal with India-based Biocon to distribute versions of insulin and insulin analog products around the world, the companies said Monday.

 

Under the agreement, Pfizer will have worldwide exclusive rights to commercialize recombinant human insulins glargine, aspart and lispro, which are, respectively, biosimilars of Sanofi-Aventis’ Lantus, Novo Nordisk’s NovoLog and Eli Lilly’s Humalog. The deal also includes agreements to commercialize the products alongside Biocon in Germany, India and Malaysia.

 

 

Pfizer will pay Biocon $200 million upfront, as well as milestone payments of up to $150 million and royalties. Biocon will be responsible for clinical development, manufacture, supply and gaining regulatory approval.

 

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Study: Mediterranean diet may cut diabetes risk

BY Allison Cerra

REUS, Spain New research has found a Mediterranean diet can cut the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by 50% in nondiabetics with high cardiovascular risk.

The study was conducted by Jordi Salas-Salvado and colleagues and published online in the Oct. 7 edition of Diabetes Care. This is the first randomized clinical trial to look specifically at use of the Mediterranean diet for the prevention of diabetes, the investigators said.

The research by Salas-Salvado and colleagues is a nested substudy of Prevencion con Dieta Mediterranea (PREDIMED), which is a multicenter, randomized, parallel-group primary-prevention trial that is ongoing in Spain to assess the effects of two Mediterranean diets — supplemented with either extra virgin olive oil or mixed nuts — versus a low-fat diet as a control group on cardiovascular and other chronic-disease outcomes in persons at high cardiovascular risk.

A total of 418 nondiabetic subjects ages 55 to 80 years were randomized to the low-fat diet (control group), or one of two Mediterranean diets supplemented with either free virgin olive oil (1 L/week) or nuts (30 g/day). Diets were without limits, and no advice on physical activity was given. The main outcome was diabetes incidence as diagnosed by the 2009 American Diabetes Association criteria: After a median follow-up of four years, diabetes incidence was 10.1%, 11.0%, and 17.9% in the Mediterranean-diet-with-olive-oil group, the Mediterranean-diet-with-nuts group, and the control group, respectively.

"The diabetes risk reduction occurred in the absence of significant changes in body weight or physical activity, so the reduction can be attributed only to the diet, not to weight loss," Salas-Salvado said.

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Anthem Blue Cross recognized for its diabetes pilot program

BY Allison Cerra

WOODLAND HILLS, Calif. A local Blue Cross chapter has gained national recognition for its pilot diabetes program.

Anthem Blue Cross’ health equities pilot is 1-of-7 programs recognized this year with a Best of Blue Clinical Distinction Award, an award developed by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and the Harvard Medical School department of healthcare policy, Anthem Blue Cross said.

The program, "Bridging Cultural Health Care Gaps: Diabetes," focused on creative and culturally appropriate ways to communicate with 4,000 African-American and Hispanic members in California and Georgia, and provided diabetes educational materials that included ways to substitute ingredients in favorite ethnic meals to make them healthier.

 

"We know that ethnically diverse populations experience a higher prevalence of certain diseases and worse quality of care than whites, regardless of the type of insurance they have or whether they have insurance at all," said Terri Amano, senior product manager for Anthem’s programs in clinical excellence. "With this pilot, our goal was to find ways to provide useful and relevant information tailored to the cultures of our Hispanic and African-American members. This information helps them better control their diabetes and improve their quality of life. Even over the short term, we saw small but promising increases in disease management engagement among African-American and Hispanic members," Amano added. "We see this pilot as an important first step in helping our diverse members make important changes to their health and helping to bridge the cultural care gaps that exist today."

 

Anthem plans to use this pilot in other states.

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