Study suggests insulin may increase cancer risk; Sanofi-Aventis responds
NEW YORK A popular brand of insulin may increase the risk of cancer, according to a recent study.
The study, conducted by Germany’s Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care and the Wissenschaftliches Institut der AOK, and published in the journal Diabetologia, analyzed data on nearly 130,000 German diabetics from 2001 to 2005 who had received human insulin or the synthetic insulin analogues Lantus, Eli Lilly & Co.’s Humalog (insulin lispro) or Novo Nordisk’s Novorapid (insulin aspart).
The studies found that malignancies occurred more frequently in patients taking Lantus than in those taking human insulin or the other insulin analogues. Still, the researchers who conducted the analysis cautioned against drawing conclusions prematurely. “Our analysis does not provide absolute proof that glargine promotes cancer,” study co-author Peter Sawicki of the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care stated. “Our study does, however, arouse an urgent suspicion, which should have consequences for the treatment of patients.”
Sanofi-Aventis disputed the findings. “The results of the registry analyses recently published in Diabetologia clearly show that no definitive conclusions can be drawn regarding a possible causal relationship between Lantus use and the occurrence of malignancies, as the authors of the analyses point out,” a company representative told Drug Store News.
A statement by the company also said that clinical studies, which it called the “gold standard of evidence,” did not indicate an association between Lantus and cancer.
The Food and Drug Administration announced that it had become aware of the study and was reviewing multiple sources of safety data on Lantus, including clinical trial data, but recommended that patients currently using the drug not stop taking it until they have consulted their physicians.
RetailNet Group CEO addresses retail survival in 2010 at NACDS Marketplace
BOSTON Not only is the economy on the skids and bringing retail sales down with it, but there is a generation rotation taking place in the modern trade, all of which means that retailers must stay ahead of the curve and adapt to change in order to survive. That was a key message RetailNet Group CEO Dan O’Connor had for attendees of Tuesday’s morning business session.
During his presentation, titled “Survival Retailing 2010,” O’Connor set the stage by explaining how, historically, retail sales have grown about 5%, but in today’s current economy, that growth is nonexistent as people are spending less and their purchasing power shrinks. To top it off, shelf prices are falling as retailers shift more of their focus to private label, and cash-strapped consumers increasingly migrate away from premium stores to discounters.
O’Connor also told attendees that, looking ahead, the Web likely will lead to in-store category reduction and that the future of retailing will be more about services versus merchandise. A perfect example: retail-based health clinics. “The clinics are perhaps the most important thing [being done] in this industry in a long, long time in terms of the impact it will have on the underinsured and the availability of health care,” O’Connor said.
Meanwhile, there’s a generation shift taking place at retail, which O’Connor likened to beer drinking. Think about it, O’Connor said: When people are young, they are much more experimental and will try anything (to get their hands on that beer), but as people grow older, their eagerness to try new things narrows. This next generation, which relies heavily on word-of-mouth and lives on the Web, is arriving.
O’Connor suggested that, in order to thrive, retailers must “win search.” Today’s shoppers are precise in their buying habits and expect to find retailers on the Web, a listing of products and the price. This is especially important given the ease of using online price-comparison tools.
The fundamental question is: How long will this economic environment last?
“There is no indicator that tells us we will be out of the woods in the next 12 months,” said O’Connor, who thinks it will be more like at least 18 months. “… We suggest it will be a 36- to 48-month cycle from beginning to end when we will see back-to-back quarters [of rising retail sales].”
FDA seeks public comment on tobacco regulations
ROCKVILLE, Md. The Food and Drug Administration wants input from the public regarding its new authority to regulate tobacco products under legislation signed into law last week by President Barack Obama.
In a Federal Register notice, the agency announced that it would seek public comment about topics ranging from product contents to advertising and marketing. All public comments will be posted online.
“We’re interested in receiving input from across the country as the FDA begins to implement this important new authority intended to reduce the enormous toll of suffering and death caused by tobacco products in the United States,” FDA commissioner Margaret Hamburg said. “We look forward to the public’s response.”
In addition to imposing stringent new regulations on tobacco products, the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act creates a new office within the FDA, the Center for Tobacco Products, to oversee regulation of the industry.