PHARMACY

Byetta may cut cardiovascular risk for diabetes patients

BY Alaric DeArment

CHICAGO — A Type 2 diabetes drug marketed by Eli Lilly and Amylin Pharmaceuticals may lower the risk of cardiovascular disease compared with other diabetes treatments, the two companies said Wednesday.

 

According to a study presented at the American Heart Association’s scientific sessions in Chicago, use of Byetta (exenatide) was associated with a lower incidence of cardiovascular disease than insulin and several other drug classes.

 

 

The study used data from IMS Health’s LifeLink Health Plan Claims Database, comprising medical and pharmaceutical claims for more than 65 million patients from 98 health plans in the United States.

 

 

“Heart disease and stroke account for nearly two-thirds of deaths in people with Type 2 diabetes, so it is critically important for us to understand how treatment may affect cardiovascular risk, either positively or negatively,” Amylin SVP and chief medical officer Orville Kolterman said.

 

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Merck’s cardiovascular drug improves cholesterol levels in patients during late-stage trial

BY Alaric DeArment

WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. Patients taking an investigational treatment for cardiovascular disease showed big improvements in cholesterol levels, according to late-stage clinical trial results released Wednesday.

 

Merck announced results of its 18-month phase-3 trial of anacetrapib in 1,623 patients with coronary heart disease. The drug showed no difference in safety compared with placebo, and 16 patients experienced cardiovascular problems –– cardiovascular death, heart attack, unstable angina or stroke –– compared with 21 taking placebo. Data were presented Wednesday at the scientific sessions of the American Heart Association and published online in the New England Journal of Medicine.

 

 

Most importantly, after 24 weeks of treatment among patients who had previously taken a statin, the drug decreased “bad” LDL cholesterol by 40% while increasing “good” HDL cholesterol by 138%.

 

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Local independent pharmacy models program after NCPA’s Dispose My Meds

BY Allison Cerra

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A group representing the nation’s independent pharmacies praised a local drug store’s participation in a drug take-back program.

The National Community Pharmacists Association lauded the Great Peconic Take Back event, held Wednesday, which served the eastern Suffolk area of New York. Led by Bob Grisnik of Southrifty Drug, located in Southampton, N.Y., the free service allowed anyone wishing to safely dispose of his or her expired or otherwise unwanted prescription and over-the-counter medications to bring the medications to any of the 15 participating pharmacies of the newly formed Peconic Independent Pharmacy Association.

The program is based on the NCPA’s Dispose My Meds program, which addresses drug diversion and environmental contamination.

“It’s exciting to see community pharmacies working together to meet the growing patient demand for a safe and environmentally friendly way to discard unused medications. Programs like this should be voluntary, but I hope many pharmacies seize the opportunity to create their own programs to meet the needs of their patients,” said Robert Greenwood, NCPA president.

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