Insulin may be linked to increased cancer risk
NEW YORK Commonly used therapies for the treatment of diabetes may increase a patient’s risk of cancer, a review published in the online edition of the International Journal of Clinical Practice suggested.
Cancer expert Michael Pollak, a professor at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, teamed up with diabetes expert David Russell-Jones, a professor from The Royal Surrey County Hospital, Guildford, U.K., to review more than three decades of laboratory and population studies. They believe that their findings will aid clinicians advising diabetic patients who also have been diagnosed with cancer or have a strong family history of cancer.
The review found that diabetes appears to be associated with an intrinsic increase in cancer incidence. A number of meta-analyses have been carried out, showing that:
- Diabetic patients were 30% more likely to develop colorectal cancer (15 studies covering 2.5 million patients)
- Women with diabetes had a 20% greater risk of developing breast cancer, according to 20 studies
- People with diabetes had an 82% higher risk of developing pancreatic cancer (36 studies covering more than 9,000 patients)
“Our review showed that people with diabetes, particularly those with Type 2 diabetes, may face an increased risk of cancer and that their cancer may be modified by treatment choices,” Pollak said. “The inter-relationships between cancer and diabetes deserve more attention as both of these diseases are becoming more prevalent globally and it is increasingly more common to see patients with both conditions.”
FDA approves extended-release painkiller
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. The Food and Drug Administration has approved a regulatory approval application for a pain drug made by CombinatoRx, the drug maker announced Tuesday.
The FDA approved Exalgo (hydromorphone hydrochloride) extended-release tablets, for the management of moderate to severe pain in patients who need continuous pain relief for long periods of time.
Covidien will pay CombinatoRx a $40 million milestone payment for the approval and is eligible to receive tiered royalties on sales of the drug.
Surescripts: E-prescription use jumps 181%
ALEXANDRIA, Va. E-prescription adoption and use in the United States has skyrocketed over the past two years, according to a new report developed by an e-prescription network.
Surescripts, which announced the release of its 2009 national progress report on e-prescribing titled “Advancing Healthcare in America,” measures the growth of e-prescribing from 2007 through 2009 across a number of categories. Among the key findings: E-prescription use increased 181%, from 68 million in 2008 to 191 million e-prescriptions in 2009.
Additional findings included:
- Prescription Benefit Information: The number of electronic requests for prescription benefit information more than tripled, from 79 million in 2008 to 303 million in 2009
- Prescription History Information: The number of prescription histories delivered to prescribers grew more than five-fold, from 16 million in 2008 to 81 million in 2009
- Prescribers: The number of prescribers routing prescriptions electronically grew from 74,000 at the end of 2008 to 156,000 by the end of2009 — representing 25 percent of all office-based prescribers
- Pharmacies: At the end of 2009, approximately 85% of community pharmacies and six of the largest mail-order pharmacies in the United States were able to receive prescriptions electronically
Surescripts president and CEO Harry Totonis said the report emphasizes the benefits of e-prescribing.
“For e-prescription use to jump from 6% to 18% in one year indicates several things,” said Harry Totonis, president and CEO of Surescripts. “First, that the federal government’s leadership and incentive structures are working. Second, that the benefits of e-prescribing — including increased safety, lower costs and increased efficiency — are widely understood. And last, that the nation’s experience with e-prescribing — in building the network and the ecosystem to support it — provides a definitive road map for how to drive adoption of a broader electronic health record for all Americans.”