PHARMACY

Chicago Bears quarterback Cutler scores for diabetes

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK This year, rooting for Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler means rooting for kids, Eli Lilly and Co. announced last week. For every touchdown pass the Chicago Bears’ starting quarterback throws in the 2009 season, Lilly will send a child to diabetes camp by donating $1,000 to the American Diabetes Association’s camp scholarship fund.

And for every pass Cutler completes this season, Lilly will donate $100 to the scholarship fund to allow kids the chance to attend camp next summer.

And to help drive awareness around diabetes, Cutler has agreed to chronicle his diabetes experience — he was diagnosed as a Type I diabetic — in a series of webisodes titled “Jay Cutler on Diabetes,” sponsored by Eli Lilly.

The videos are available on www.chicagobears.com, www.touchdownsfordiabetes.com and www.jaycutlersix.com. Future episodes will be launched in November during American Diabetes Month and will focus on Cutler’s efforts to connect with kids and families affected by diabetes.

Lilly’s documentary film crew began shooting the videos in January, when Cutler and Lilly kicked off their national off-season tour of children’s hospitals. In the episodes released last week, Cutler described being sick but not knowing what was wrong, as he played through his first season as a starting quarterback in the NFL with the Denver Broncos.

“I kept it a secret for a while — obviously a lot longer than I should have,” Cutler said. “I thought it was something I was just going to bounce back from. A part of me just didn’t want to know. I didn’t know if I was going to continue to be able to play football.”

Cutler also talked about how he learned to manage the disease while becoming an elite NFL quarterback. “It’s there every day, no matter where you go,” he said. “You wake up with it, you go to sleep with it. Over time, you get used to it, and it becomes part of you. I’m not to that point yet,” he added. “I’d like to use my story to be able to inspire kids that get diabetes. They think it’s the end of the world, they think can’t have dreams, do what they want to do. But that’s entirely false.”

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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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