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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FDA: Tri-Med selling unapproved, adulterated drugs

BY Michael Johnsen

SILVER SPRING, Md. U.S. Marshals earlier this month seized articles of prescription and over-the-counter drug products from Tri-Med Labs in Somerset, N.J., at the request of the Food and Drug Administration, the agency announced Wednesday. The seizure warrant, issued by the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey and unsealed this week, shows the drugs are unapproved and adulterated new drugs.

“The FDA is taking this action because Tri-Med has refused to take these unapproved products off the market after it received warning letters and regulatory meetings,” stated Dara Corrigan, the FDA’s associate commissioner for regulatory affairs. “This action shows the FDA’s commitment to protecting the public health from the dangers of unapproved or adulterated drug products.”

The FDA has been on the case approaching 13 years — FDA inspections of Tri-Med since 1997 revealed Tri-Med continued to manufacture and distribute unapproved, misbranded and adulterated drugs with significant Good Manufacturing Practices violations.

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