PHARMACY

Study recommends better diabetes screening

BY Drew Buono

NORWALK, Conn. According to a new study in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, better screenings and diagnosis for diabetes is being called for to help the 6.2 million Americans who don’t realize they have the disease, according to Forbes.

Many diabetics go undiagnosed, because the most common diagnostic tests require the patient fast, said study author Christopher Saudek, of Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. People who have eaten on the day of a doctor visit most likely will not be diagnosed unless they have quite advanced diabetes.

Instead, the panel suggests incorporating different measurement of glucose, hemoglobin A1c into the criteria. Hemoglobin is the oxygen-carrying protein located in red blood cells. HbA1c is a form of hemoglobin that reflects the average blood glucose level over the previous several months. It has been used for a long time to indicate blood sugar levels in patients with diabetes but never as a screening or diagnostic tool.

Although the American Diabetes Association rejected use of HbA1c as a tool a decade ago, the panel said that most recent evidence of its strength means it is time to revisit adopting its use. Also, HbA1c does not require fasting.

The panel recommends that HbA1c levels greater than 6 percent would require patient follow-up; HbA1c greater than or equal to 6.5 percent confirmed by a glucose-dependent test would establish the diagnosis of diabetes.

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Juvaris tests flu vaccine addition

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK Burlingame, Calif.-based Juvaris BioTherapeutics is testing an adjuvant for flu vaccines.

JVRS-100, as the drug is known, is designed to augment vaccines by stimulating the immune system. Testing will involve 128 patients who will receive the drug ad an flu vaccine.

The trial will test the safety and tolerability of the drug.

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Teva announces generic Wellbutrin XL and Zyrtec syrup

BY Drew Buono

NORTH WALES, Pa. Teva Pharmaceuticals has announced the availability of two new generic drugs, Cetirizine hydrochloride syrup, the generic of Pfizer’s allergy medication Zyrtec syrup and Budeprion XL 150 mg, the generic of GlaxoSmithKline’s seasonal affective disorder medication Wellbutrin XL 150 mg.

Cetirizine Hydrochloride Syrup is available in a 5 mg/5 mL strength, in bottle sizes of 120 mL and 473 mL. Also, with the addition of this new strength, Teva now offers Budeprion XL tablets in 150 mg and 300 mg strengths, in bottle sizes of 30 and 500.

Zyrtec syrup has sales of $177 million in 2007 and Wellbutrin XL had sales of $992 million in 2007, according to drugs.com.

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