PHARMACY

Takeda drug combined with metformin hydrochloride reduces blood sugar levels, study concludes

BY Alaric DeArment

DEERFIELD, Ill. Type 2 diabetes patients treated with a therapy that combines a branded drug and a widely available generic experienced greater blood sugar reduction than patients who took either drug alone, according to results of a recent clinical study.

The 600-patient study, published online in the journal Current Medical Research and Opinion, showed that 64% of patients who took Takeda’s ACTOplus met – a combination of Actos (pioglitazone hydrochloride) and metformin hydrochloride – reduced blood sugar levels to less than 7%. By contrast, 46% of patients who took Actos alone and 39% of those who took metformin alone reached comparable levels.

“Diabetes is a progressive and chronic condition, which requires continued monitoring by a patient and physician,” Takeda Pharmaceuticals North American VP medical and science affairs Robert Spanheimer said in a statement. “In addition to diet and exercise, patients often need to take multiple medications to help them manage their glucose control.”

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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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