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Global study reveals correlation between insulin dosing irregularities, hypoglycemia

BY Allison Cerra

PHILADELPHIA — One-quarter of Type 2 diabetes patients do not take basal insulin as prescribed, while more than one-third suffer from hypoglycemia, according to a global survey funded by Novo Nordisk.

The Global Attitudes of Patients and Physicians survey — which surveyed online 3,042 people with Type 2 diabetes using insulin analog and 1,653 healthcare professionals across six countries — found that in the previous 30 days, 22% of Type 2 diabetes patients worldwide missed a dose of basal insulin, 24% mistimed a dose by more than two hours and 14% reduced a basal insulin dose, while 36% of those surveyed experienced a hypoglycemic event during the same time period.

Researchers also noted a correlation between dosing irregularities and hypoglycemia while conducting the GAPP2 survey. For instance, those who missed a basal insulin dose in the past 30 days were significantly more likely to report self-treated hypoglycemia over the same period (41% compared with 34%).

"A considerable proportion of people with Type 2 diabetes are missing or mistiming their long-acting insulin," said lead researcher and health psychologist Meryl Brod of The Brod Group. "The challenges of addressing dosing irregularities and self-treated hypoglycemia are critical for improving patient care as they greatly impact the achievement of optimal glycemic control."


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Genzyme seeks regulatory approval for Lemtrada

BY Allison Cerra

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — A Sanofi company is seeking regulatory approval from the Food and Drug Administration for a drug designed to treat relapsing multiple sclerosis.

Genzyme said it submitted a supplements biologics license application to the FDA for Lemtrada (alemtuzumab), which the drug maker is developing in collaboration with Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals. Genzyme’s clinical development program for the Lemtrada included two phase-3 studies in which results for Lemtrada were superior to Rebif (high dose subcutaneous interferon beta-1a) on clinical and imaging endpoints, including a reduction in relapse rate.

"There remains a large unmet treatment need for patients living with active disease and we believe that Lemtrada, given its efficacy and unique dosing schedule, has the potential to transform the lives of patients with MS," Genzyme president and CEO, David Meeker said.


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Kosher tops on-package claims for new food, drink products in 2011

BY Allison Cerra

CHICAGO — More than one-quarter of new food and beverage products introduced in 2011 touted a kosher on-package claim, according to Mintel.

New data from Mintel’s global new products database found that among health-focused on-package claims for new products, "kosher" topped the list at 27% more than twice as often as the second most common claim, "all-natural product." Rounding out the top five were "no additives/preservatives," "low/no/reduced allergen," and "gluten-free." One of the least common health claims was "no high-fructose corn syrup," which appeared on 2% of new products. Separate Mintel research revealed that this health claim is a low priority among consumers when grocery shopping.

"New product introductions in the US, across all categories, usually total more than 20,000 in most years," said Lynn Dornblaser, director of innovation and insight at Mintel. "Those with ‘no-HFCS’ claims only accounted for about 400 new product intros in 2011, or 2%. By comparison, they’re a very small part of the market."

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