Larger waists linked to diabetes in new study
NEW YORK A new study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health found that the nation’s average larger waist circumference is an indicator as to why the diabetes rate in America is higher than the rate in England.
James Smith, corporate chair of economics at the nonprofit organization RAND Corp., and researchers found that American men’s waists were an average of 3 cm (1.5 in.) larger than those of men in England. Similarly, American women’s waists were an average of 5 cm (2 in.) larger than those of women in England.
Analyzing studies about the health and lifestyles of large numbers of people from the United States and England, researchers found no association between higher diabetes rates in the United States based upon such conventional risk factors as age, smoking, socio-economic status or body mass index, the commonly used ratio of height and weight that is used to measure obesity and overweight levels.
"Americans carry more fat around their middle sections than the English, and that was the single factor that explained most of the higher rates of diabetes seen in the United States, especially among American women. Waist size is the missing new risk factor we should be studying," Smith said.
IMS Health projects growth for Rx market
NORWALK, Conn. The global pharmaceutical market will reach a value of $880 billion next year, according to a report by market research firm IMS Health.
IMS Health forecasted 5% to 7% growth in 2011 in its annual IMS Market Prognosis, compared with 4% to 5% growth this year.
Generic drugs will become dominant in many therapies, as drugs with sales of more than $30 billion are expected to lose patent protection next year. These include Pfizer’s cholesterol-lowering drug Lipitor (atorvastatin calcium), Bristol-Myers Squibb’s and Sanofi-Aventis’ cardiovascular drug Plavix (clopidogrel bisulfate), Eli Lilly’s antipsychotic Zyprexa (olanzapine) and Johnson & Johnson’s antibiotic Levaquin (levofloxacin).
At the same time, much innovation is expected to occur in the area of specialty drugs –– drugs to treat such complex and often unmet therapeutic needs as multiple sclerosis, cancer and hepatitis C –– and patient access is expected to increase. IMS predicted five potential blockbuster drugs, meaning those with annual sales of $1 billion or more, will be approved over the course of the year.
Public and private payers are expected to reduce their growth in drug budgets, according to the report. In the United States, this is in the form of health plans increasing use of cost-sharing provisions and pre-authorizations.
“In 2011, we will see the loss of exclusivity for some iconic brands and a promising new wave of innovation,” IMS SVP Murray Aitken said. “It will also be a critical year for gauging how healthcare-reform initiatives in key markets evolve and play out amid the expected macroeconomic recovery. For pharmaceutical manufacturers, an unrelenting focus on bringing distinct value to patients and health systems will be essential to navigating this dynamic market.”
Overall, the company expected divergent growth in different markets. The United States will remain the largest drug market, growing 3% to 5% to $310 billion. Japan will grow by 5% to 7%, while Canada and the five major European markets of the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, Italy and France will grow by 1% to 3%. The so-called “pharmerging markets” will experience the most dramatic growth, 15% to 17%, including 25% to 27% growth in China, which will remain the world’s third-largest pharmaceutical market at $50 billion.
Walgreens collaborates with two groups to drive flu prevention, boost awareness
DEERFIELD, Ill. Underscoring its determination to be the nation’s premier source of flu immunization services, Walgreens on Thursday revealed it is working with the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases to educate the public and health professionals about flu prevention resources. In addition, Walgreens has joined with Families Fighting Flu, a nonprofit organization of families and healthcare practitioners, to heighten flu awareness and encourage vaccinations for children and families.
In a flu season kickoff, NFID held its annual news conference in Washington, D.C., on Thursday. Health experts at the event discussed immunizations as the best protection against flu viruses and offered new information from the medical community. They also highlighted the complementary role that Walgreens and other pharmacies now play for immunization services within the U.S. healthcare system.
“Working with NFID and Families Fighting Flu –– and through ongoing efforts with the medical community and government agencies –– we’ll continue to arm the public with the information they need to protect themselves,” said Kermit Crawford, Walgreens president of pharmacy services. “With new [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] recommendations, an all-in-one vaccine and unprecedented access to flu shots, our goal is to achieve higher immunization rates that can lead to a lower incidence of flu in the United States this season.”
Walgreens pharmacists, along with clinicians at its in-store Take Care Clinics, provided some 7 million vaccinations during the 2009-2010 flu season. This year, the company has set a much higher goal: to immunize 15 million Americans nationwide.