PHARMACY

Study suggests healthy neighborhoods are linked to lower diabetes risk

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK Individuals living in neighborhoods conducive to physical activity and providing access to healthy foods may have a lower risk of developing Type 2 diabetes in a five-year period, according to a report in the Oct. 12 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine.

Amy Auchincloss, an associate professor at Drexel University School of Public Health, and colleagues observed 2,285 adults ages 45 to 84 years who were initially examined between 2000 and 2002. Blood glucose levels were obtained from study participants at baseline and at three follow-up examinations, during which other individual characteristics also were assessed — including diet, body mass index BMI and physical activity levels.

Measures of neighborhood resources were obtained from a separate assessment, the community survey, in which other residents of the same neighborhoods (defined as the area within a 20-minute walk or a mile from their homes) rated the suitability of their environment for physical activity and access to healthy foods. The study found over a median of five years of follow-up, 233 of the 2,285 participants (10.2%) developed diabetes. Average neighborhood scores were 3.68 for physical activity and 3.36 for healthy foods.

The neighborhood data observed included Baltimore, Md., Forsyth County, N.C.; and New York City/Bronx.

“Better neighborhood resources, determined by a combined score for physical activity and healthy foods, were associated with a 38% lower incidence of Type 2 diabetes,” the authors wrote. This was similar to the reduction in risk observed among individuals whose BMI was five points lower. “The association remained statistically significant after further adjustment for individual dietary factors, physical activity level and body mass index.”

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Abbott reports Q3 results

BY Alaric DeArment

ABBOTT PARK, Ill. Drug maker Abbott reported strong sales in its third-quarter 2009 earnings report Wednesday.

The company reported an increase of 8.4% in global sales, which remained at 3.5% when factoring in the rise in the value of the dollar. Excluding the dollar’s rise, pharmaceutical sales were 3.9%, but dipped into the red, to -1.6%, when including foreign exchange rates. Nutritional and medical products had much stronger sales – 11.1% and 9.8%, respectively – when the dollar’s value was included.

“Abbott is performing well, generating higher-than-expected earnings growth in the fourth quarter,” Abbott chairman and CEO Miles White said in a statement. “During the quarter, we announced several acquisitions that support our long-term growth strategy. These acquisitions add to our diverse mix of global businesses, with new technologies, established products and emerging market infrastructure that will help us deliver sustainable industry-leading growth.”

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Mylan, Pfizer settle drug dispute

BY Alaric DeArment

PITTSBURGH Generic drug manufacturer Mylan and pharmaceutical giant Pfizer have settled a dispute over Mylan’s attempt to manufacture a generic version of an antifungal drug.

Mylan announced Wednesday that it had entered a license agreement with Pfizer concerning Mylan subsidiary Matrix Labs’ voriconazole tablets in the 50-mg and 200-mg strengths, a generic version of Pfizer’s Vfend. Matrix had filed a regulatory approval application with the Food and Drug Administration; as the first company to file the application, Mylan will have the right to market its version in direct competition with Pfizer’s product for six months once the patent expires. Under the agreement, Mylan will have the right to market voriconazole tablets in the U.S. in first quarter 2011.

Vfend, used to treat yeast and other fungal infections, had sales of $164 million during the 12-month period ending June 30, according to IMS Health data.

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