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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GMA, FMI join forces to make America healthier

BY Allison Cerra

WASHINGTON The nation’s food and beverage manufacturers and retailers are taking an extra step to combat obesity.

The Grocery Manufacturers Association and the Food Marketing Institute are joining forces to develop a new front-of-package nutrition labeling system, which will present nutrition information in a fact-based, simple and easy-to-use format. The industry groups will finalize the details of the initiative, including the technical and design elements, in the coming months.

“The food and beverage industry is committed to empowering consumers by providing them with the products, tools and information they need to achieve and maintain a healthy diet,” said GMA president and CEO Pamela Bailey. “This initiative comes on top of the 20,000 healthier product choices we have developed, the responsible marketing practices we have adopted and the tens of millions of dollars we spend annually on healthy lifestyle promotion.”

Consumers can expect to see the new labeling system by early next year.

“Thanks to this initiative and many other innovative industry programs, consumers will now have access to more information about their food than ever before,” said FMI president and CEO Leslie Sarasin. “This unprecedented partnership with manufacturers will expand access to nutrition information for all Americans and give shoppers a powerful tool to assist them in selecting nutritious products.”

The industry groups also added that it will drive awareness to the new labeling system with a $50 million consumer education campaign, which also will launch in 2011.

“Through this initiative, we continue to deliver on our promise to our consumers and demonstrate that we are moving farther [and] faster in our ongoing effort to play a constructive and responsible role in the fight against obesity,” Bailey added.

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