PHARMACY

Sanofi-Aventis: Lantus provides further blood-sugar reduction for patients with Type 2 diabetes

BY Alaric DeArment

PARIS An injected insulin made by French drug maker Sanofi-Aventis provided further reduction of blood sugar in patients with Type 2 diabetes when added to oral diabetes drugs, according to a study presented at a medical conference in Sweden.

Sanofi announced Monday results of two studies presented at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes’ 46th annual meeting in Stockholm showing that adding Lantus (insulin glargine [rDNA]) to oral antidiabetic therapies, such as metformin, in Type 2 diabetes patients with uncontrolled blood sugar reduced A1C levels further than the antidiabetic therapies alone and also produced lower risk of abnormally low blood sugar, known as hypoglycemia.

 

“Patients with Type 2 diabetes who used Lantus as monotherapy or added it to one baseline oral antidiabetic agent demonstrated a greater reduction in A1C with lower risk of hypoglycemia than those taking two OADs, with a most significant reduction when Lantus was added to metformin alone versus other OADs,” University of Vermont College of Medicine researcher and lead investigator in one of the studies Jack Leahy said. The “other OADs” to which Leahy referred were sulfonylurea and sulfonylurea combined with metformin.

 

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Walgreens offers pertussis immunizations in select Calif. stores

BY Allison Cerra

DEERFIELD, Ill. In response to the outbreak of pertussis, or “whooping cough,” in California, one drug store chain is offering pertussis vaccinations to its customers at more than 150 select stores throughout the state.

Walgreens said that its pharmacists in California can administer pertussis immunizations (tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis-Tdap vaccine) to anyone age 9 years or older with no appointment necessary. Officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and from the California Department of Public Health have recommended that Californians get vaccinated to prevent the spread of pertussis, which is said to be the worst epidemic the state has seen in the past 50 years.

“We share in the recommendations of state and federal health officials that the best thing people can do to keep themselves and their families healthy during this epidemic is to get vaccinated,” said Bill Hose, California market VP for Walgreens. “In addition to children, who are the most vulnerable, those who care for or are in contact with children should also be immunized, and we’re continuing to stress these important statewide recommendations to our patients, customers and the general public.”

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FDA to review Actos for bladder cancer risk

BY Alaric DeArment

SILVER SPRING, Md. The Food and Drug Administration said Friday it had begun a safety review of Takeda’s Type 2 diabetes treatment Actos (pioglitazone) after receiving five-year data from a 10-year study Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America is conducting on the drug showing that some patients taking it could be at risk for bladder cancer.

 

The results showed no overall association between taking Actos and risk of bladder cancer, but there was an increased risk among those taking the drug for the longest period of time and in those taking it at the highest cumulative dose. The FDA said it had not concluded that the drug increases patients’ bladder cancer risk.

 

 

Actos belongs to the same class as GlaxoSmithKline’s Avandia (rosiglitazone), which has come under fire lately after being linked to heart problems in patients, though the drug remains available in the United States.

 

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