PHARMACY

Study shows infrared thermometer helps cut down on diabetic foot ulcers

BY Drew Buono

WASHINGTON A new study published last month in the American Journal of Medicine showed that a new infrared digital thermometer decreases the chance of a diabetic receiving a foot ulcer, according to published reports.

Foot ulcers each year strike 600,000 U.S. diabetics, who are slow to notice they even have a wound because diabetes has numbed their feet. Worse, foot ulcers are so slow healing and vulnerable to infection that they’re to blame for most of the roughly 80,000 amputations of toes, feet and lower legs that diabetics undergo each year.

Using the thermometer reduced the number of high-risk patients who got foot ulcers by nearly two-thirds, according to Armstrong who studied 225 diabetic veterans.

The thermometer works by measuring the difference in temperature around the foot, looking for hot spots that can signal inflammation, which correlates to tissue injury. Patients measure half a dozen spots on each foot. When the thermometer signals a hot spot, they put up their feet for a day or so until the temperature normalizes. Easing pressure before the skin cracks lets the body heal more easily than it can with a full-blown wound.

“Heat is one of the most sensitive things, one of the first things that happens when we begin to have tissue breakdown,” says Crystal Holmes, a University of Michigan podiatrist who has begun prescribing the thermometers.

The results of the study, which took place over 18 months, showed that 12.2 percent of patients who did standard foot checks got ulcers, compared to 4.7 percent of those who used the thermometers.

The thermometer, called the TempTouch and made by Xilas, is currently available by prescription only.

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Celgene sees year-to-year revenue increase of more than 50 percent

BY Drew Buono

WARREN, N.J. Celgene’s revenue increased by more than 50 percent in 2007 as compared to 2006. The growth was due to sales of its cancer drug Revlimid.

Revlimid is used in combination with the corticosteroid dexamethasone to treat multiple myeloma patients who have received at least one prior therapy. Net sales of the drug increased more than 140 percent in 2007 to nearly $775 million.

The company also reported good sales results for its skin disease treatment drug Thalomid, the chemotherapy drug Alkeran and the attention deficit hyperactivity disorder drugs Focalin XR and Ritalin and the Ritalin family of products.

The company expects revenue to increase more than 30 percent this year to approximately $1.8 billion and adjusted diluted earnings per share to increase approximately 45 percent up to $1.55.

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Valeant divests Infergen rights to Three Rivers

BY Drew Buono

ALISO VIEJO, Calif. Valeant Pharmaceuticals International has completed its divestment of the rights to its hepatitis C drug Infergen in the U.S. and Canada to Three Rivers Pharmaceuticals.

Under the terms of the agreement, Valeant received from Three Rivers an initial payment of about $70.8 million in cash and will receive up to $20.5 million in two noncontingent payments over the next 18 months.

The company had been looking to sell the drug since the third quarter of 2007 due to poor sales.

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