PHARMACY

Study finds Onglyza effective as Januvia in treating Type 2 diabetes

BY Allison Cerra

PRINCETON, N.J. A late-stage clinical trial found that a diabetes treatment combined with metformin worked just as well as a similar drug.

Results from an 18-week phase 3 study in adults with Type 2 diabetes with inadequate glycemic control on metformin therapy alone found that the addition of treatment with Onglyza (saxagliptin) 5 mg per day was equally effective to the addition of treatment with Januvia (sitagliptin) 100 mg per day in reducing hemoglobin levels in patients.

This study was submitted to the European Medicines Agency as part of the marketing authorization application for Onglyza. Complete findings from this study will be submitted for publication in the first half of 2010.

Onglyza was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in late July.

“We are pleased with the findings from this study, which support that the addition of ONGLYZA to metformin lowers HbA1c in adults with inadequate glycemic control despite treatment with metformin,” said Andre Scheen, MD, Head of the Division of Diabetes, Nutrition and Metabolic Disorders and Clinical Pharmacology Unit, Academic Hospital, Liege, Belgium.

Onglyza is a drug marketed by Bristol-Myers Squibb and AstraZeneca. Januvia is a trademark of Merck & Co.

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RediClinic set to offer H1N1 vaccine, FluMist

BY Antoinette Alexander

HOUSTON RediClinic is reinforcing its role as a local resource for prevention and treatment of seasonal illnesses by providing FluMist nasal flu vaccine and gearing up to offer the H1N1 vaccine when it becomes available.

As previously reported by Drug Store News, the retail-based clinic operator is offering FluMist in its Houston and Austin locations.

In addition, the clinics expect to offer the H1N1 vaccine when it is projected to become available in mid-October. For those patients experiencing flu-like symptoms, RediClinic offers diagnostic tests and treatment options to help them get healthy as quickly as possible.

“All of our clinicians are prepared to share information and advice with patients interested in learning how to prevent these illnesses, and our clinics are open seven days a week and after school and work on weekdays to ensure that patients have access to care when they need it most,” stated Nancy Ross, RediClinic nurse practitioner.

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NACDS, NCPA file lawsuit against Minnesota over Medicaid cuts

BY Allison Cerra

ALEXANDRIA, Va. Just a few days after announcing lawsuits against three states, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores and the National Community Pharmacists Association have declared that the state of Minnesota unlawfully cut patient access to Medicaid.

Additional state-based associations, including the Minnesota Pharmacists Association, the Minnesota Retailers Association and other businesses, filed as co-plaintiffs in the lawsuit. The co-plaintiffs claim the state violating the Social Security Act, which required states to adjust reimbursement rates as a result of reductions to the average wholesale price of drugs.

“MPhA is deeply disappointed in the decision of the Department of Human Services to not exercise its authority and responsibility to assist pharmacies in what will be a devastating blow to their ability to provide services to their patients,” said Julie K. Johnson, Pharm.D., EVP and CEO, Minnesota Pharmacists Association.

As previously reported by Drug Store News Wednesday, California, New York and Washington were also accused of denying patient access and quality care to Medicaid patients.

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