PHARMACY

Uecker appointed to evp position at MediZine

BY Drew Buono

NEW YORK MediZine has appointed Bob Uecker to the brand new position of executive vice president of business development retail marketing.

Uecker has decades of experience in pharmacy marketing and operations and MediZine will use his knowledge to expand its marketing programs in pharmacy and at other point-of-care venues. He has previously worked for Catalina in its health resource division and was a founder of the LDM Group.

“I’m excited to work on expanding MediZine’s position in this dynamic environment,” Uecker said. “Today, the pharmacy arena is heavily interconnected between benefit managers, doctors and retail clinics. We see new ways of employing educational marketing programs at the point-of-care to the benefit of both the consumer and the healthcare professional.”

“Bob’s decades-long experience of being in-the-seat from a pharmacy operations standpoint gives him a unique vantage point and understanding of the challenges in pharmacy today,” said Traver Hutchins, chief executive officer and president of MediZine.

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PHARMACY

Sugar may be helpful for those with diabetes and obesity

BY Diana Alickaj

BALTIMORE Researchers have found a new treatment that may be helpful in aiding those with diabetes and obesity, and it is most unusually a sugar.

The sugar is known as tagatose, which, according to published reports, is used in Europe to sweeten candy or orange juice. It is a naturally occurring version of fructose and is derived from the dairy byproduct whey. Tagatose has been shown to stop blood sugar spiking and is currently undergoing a one-year clinical trial to see if is, in fact, helpful in managing diabetes and weight-loss.

According to the American Diabetes Association, about 20.8 million people are diabetic and 9 out of 10 diabetics with Type 2 are overweight. Many researchers, such as Phillip Levin, an endocrinologist and director of diabetes center at Mercy, hope that tagatose can become a diet drug for patients experiencing obesity, one of the leading causes of diabetes. According to Levin, “Tagatose could be another tool for damage control. A lot of dealing with Type 2 diabetes is damage control.”

Other studies have shown that tagatose, if ingested before meals, would stop the rise in blood sugar, because it is absorbed poorly and therefore affects the way the sugar is stored. According to published reports, tagatose is said to be possibly the only diabetes drug that could raise good cholesterol and act as a cell-protecting antioxidant.

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FDA to take a closer look at Singulair

BY Drew Buono

WASHINGTON The Food and Drug Administration has warned health care professionals that it is investigating possible side effects in the asthma drug Singulair.

Possible side effects of the drug, a Merck product, include behavior/mood changes, suicidality and suicide.

The agency will need up to nine months to complete ongoing evaluations about the safety of the drug.

“Patients should not stop taking Singulair before talking to their doctor if they have questions about this new information,” the FDA said. “Until further information is available, healthcare professionals and caregivers should monitor patients taking Singulair for suicidality and changes in behavior and mood.”

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