PHARMACY

Bristol-Myers Squibb, AstraZeneca announce postmarketing study for Onglyza

BY Alaric DeArment

WILMINGTON, Del. Two drug makers hope to find out how well a diabetes drug works in treating patients who run the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases in a post-marketing study announced Tuesday.

Bristol-Myers Squibb and AstraZeneca announced the start of a phase 4 study of 12,000 patients with Type 2 diabetes treated with the drug Onglyza (saxagliptin). The placebo-controlled study, called SAVOR-TIMI 53, will take place over a five-year period and follow patients who have a history of previous cardiovascular problems or multiple risk factors for vascular disease, with the goal of determining whether adding Onglyza to their current standard of care will reduce their risk of cardiovascular death, heart attack or stroke.

The Food and Drug Administration approved Onglyza in July 2009.

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Study: Dementia may be triggered by depression in diabetics

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK Diabetic adults with depression are twice as likely to develop dementia, according to a new study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

To test the idea that the development of dementia — which causes progressive decline of thinking and reasoning abilities — may be caused by both factors, researchers (that included Group Health Research Institute in Seattle and the Veterans Affairs Puget Sound Health Care System) led by Wayne Katon, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of Washington, tracked the outcomes of adults from the Group Health Cooperative’s diabetes registry who agreed to participate.

Over the five-year period, 36 of 455 patients, or 7.9%, of the diabetes patients with major depression were diagnosed with dementia. Among the 3,382 patients with diabetes alone, 163 patients, or 4.8%, developed dementia.

The researchers calculated that major depression with diabetes was associated with a 2.7-fold increase of dementia, compared with diabetes alone. Because the onset of dementia sometimes can be marked by depression, the researchers also adjusted their hazard model to exclude patients who developed dementia in the first two years after their depression diagnosis. The team’s previous findings from earlier studies showed that depression increases the mortality rate among people with diabetes, as well as the rate of such complications as heart, blood vessel, kidney and vision problems.

“It seems prudent for clinicians to add effective screening and treatment for depression to other preventive measures such as exercise, weight control, and blood sugar control to protect against the development of cognitive deficits in patients with diabetes,” researchers said.

Grants from the National Institute of Mental Health and National Institutes of Health, supported the study.

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Divine Mercy Care Pharmacy closes in D.C. area

BY Alaric DeArment

CHANTILLY, Va. The only pro-life pharmacy in the metropolitan area of the nation’s capital is closing, according to published reports.

The Catholic News Agency reported that the Divine Mercy Care Pharmacy, in northern Virginia, was having financial difficulties and would need hundreds of thousands of dollars and would have to quintuple its customer base to stay open.

The pharmacy carried many of the same products as other pharmacies, but did not have contraceptive products, according to the CNA report.  The pharmacy’s prescription records have been transferred to the local CVS store.

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