PHARMACY

Roche says diabetes drug more effective than competitor’s

BY Alaric DeArment

PARIS A drug made by Roche and Ipsen provides better glycemic control in diabetes patients than a competing drug made by Merck & Co., according to late-stage clinical trial results that Roche released and Ipsen announced Wednesday.

Roche released results of two of the eight phase 3 clinical trials comparing taspoglutide with Merck’s Januvia (sitagliptin) and placebo in more than 1,000 patients over a 24-week period. Patients in one study, who had not received treatment before, received a weekly injection of taspoglutide or placebo; those in the other study received taspoglutide, Januvia or placebo. In both trials, taspoglutide showed better reduction in HbA1c levels than placebo or Januvia, Ipsen said.

Roche licensed taspoglutide from Ipsen in 2006.

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Careworks wins Web site design award

BY Allison Cerra

DANVILLE, Pa. Careworks Convenient Healthcare received an Honor of Distinction for Best Site Design at the eHealthcare Leadership Awards for its Web site, www.careworkshealth.com/geisinger. Award winners were recognized during a special presentation at the 13th annual Healthcare Internet Conference Nov. 2 to 4 in Las Vegas.

The eHealthcare Leadership Award for Best Site Design recognizes unique, attractive and engaging Web designs that facilitate access to key site information and provide strong branding and excellent usability. Careworks’ site was selected from more than 1,100 entries.

“We are pleased that the Careworks Web site was recognized for its distinctive and engaging design,” said Dean Lin, CEO of Careworks and VP business development at Geisinger Health System. “As a health system operating retail clinics, we wanted a thoughtful, consumer-friendly design that provided us with unique branding opportunities.”

The eHealthcare Leadership Awards program was developed and first presented 10 years ago by eHealthcare Strategy & Trends, a leading Internet resource published by Health Care Communications, Rye, N.Y.

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FDA approves Novo Nordisk’s atrophic vaginitis treatment

BY Alaric DeArment

PRINCETON, N.J. The Food and Drug Administration has approved a 10-microgram formulation of a suppository for treating atrophic vaginitis.

Danish drug maker Novo Nordisk announced Wednesday the approval of Vagifem (estradiol), saying that the 10 microgram formulation makes it the lowest local estrogen therapy dose commercially available in the United States. The drug will reach pharmacy shelves during first quarter 2010, the company said.

Atrophic vaginitis affects up to 75% of postmenopausal women, causing thinning and shrinking of vaginal tissues that leads to dryness, soreness and irritation.

The 25 microgram formulation was approved in the United States in 1999.

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