HEALTH

Decision Resources: More patients switch to Onglyza from Merck’s Type 2 diabetes drugs

BY Alaric DeArment

BURLINGTON, Mass. Many Type 2 diabetes patients who use the drug Onglyza (saxagliptin) switched to that drug from Merck’s Januvia (sitagliptin) and Janumet (sitagliptin and metformin), according to a new report by market research firm Decision Resources.

 

The report found that 9.3% of patients for whom Onglyza –– made by Bristol-Myers Squibb and AstraZeneca –– was not their first Type 2 diabetes drug had previously used Januvia, while 7.9% had used Janumet. All three drugs belong to the same class, known as DPP-IV inhibitors.

 

 

“While about half of physicians we surveyed predict their prescribing of Onglyza will increase over the next two years, and Onglyza has picked up some patient share from Januvia and Janumet, Januvia’s more favorable formulary positioning and noncoverage of Onglyza will remain important hurdles for Onglyza’s uptake,” Decision Resources analyst Kate Sullivan said.

 

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Walgreens continues vitamin D giveaway program with Aetna, United Way

BY Allison Cerra

COLUMBIA , S.C. (May 27) One of the nation’s largest drug store chains has teamed up with a healthcare benefits company and a community solutions provider to raise awareness of the need for adequate vitamin D intake.

Walgreens, Aetna and United Way of the Midlands are continuing their efforts through a vitamin D giveaway program extension, which initially was kicked off earlier this year. The vitamin D awareness efforts will donate more than 25,000 samples, the companies said.

“We are pleased to continue our participation in this program to drive awareness around a health concern that’s seldom discussed in many communities,” said Richard Ashworth, Walgreens market VP. “Our goal is for more people to be informed that supporting a proper diet and healthy lifestyle with a vitamin D supplement is a simple step that can have long-term health benefits.”

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Study: Fish oil may aid dental health

BY Michael Johnsen

ST. LOUIS, Mo. Supplementing with fish oils could help improve gum health, according to research published in the November issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association. Researchers from Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health found that dietary intake of polyunsaturated fatty acids like fish oil, known to have anti-inflammatory properties, shows promise for the effective treatment and prevention of periodontitis, otherwise known as gum disease.

"We found that n-3 fatty acid intake, particularly docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), are inversely associated with periodontitis in the U.S. population," said researcher Asghar Naqvi. "To date, the treatment of periodontitis has primarily involved mechanical cleaning and local antibiotic application. Thus, a dietary therapy, if effective, might be a less expensive and safer method for the prevention and treatment of periodontitis. Given the evidence indicating a role for n-3 fatty acids in other chronic inflammatory conditions, it is possible that treating periodontitis with n-3 fatty acids could have the added benefit of preventing other chronic diseases associated with inflammation, including stroke as well."

 

The study involved more than 9,000 adults who participated in NHANES between 1999 and 2004 who had received dental examinations. Dietary DHA, EPA and LNA intake were estimated from 24-hour food recall interviews, and data regarding supplementary use of PUFAs were captured as well. The NHANES study also collected extensive demographic, ethnic, educational and socioeconomic data, allowing the researchers to take other factors into consideration that might obscure the results.

 

 

The prevalence of periodontitis in the study sample was 8.2%. There was an approximately 20% reduction in periodontitis prevalence in those subjects who consumed the highest amount of dietary DHA. The reduction correlated with EPA was smaller, while the correlation to LNA was not statistically significant.

 

 

Foods that contain significant amounts of polyunsaturated fats include fatty fish like salmon, as well as peanut butter, margarine and nuts.

 

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