PHARMACY

Link between diabetes, high-fat diet clarified

BY Alaric DeArment

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — The link between high-fat diets and Type 2 diabetes has been known for a long time, but researchers at the University of North Carolina said they’ve found out how that link occurs.

Led by UNC at Chapel Hill School of Medicine professor Jenny Ting, the team found that the key contributor to Type 2 diabetes is a diet high in saturated fat, but not unsaturated fat. Such diets cause immune cells to produce interleukin-1beta, an inflammatory protein.

“The cellular path that mediates fatty acid metabolism is also the one that causes interleukin-1beta production,” Ting said. “Interleukin-1beta then acts on tissues and organs, such as the liver, muscle and fat, to turn off their response to insulin, making them insulin-resistant. As a result, activation of this pathway by fatty acid can lead to insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes symptoms.”

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PHARMACY

Diplomat CEO receives Grant Thornton Leader & Innovator of the Year award

BY Alaric DeArment

FLINT, Mich. — Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy president and CEO Phil Hagerman has been named the Grant Thornton Leader & Innovator of the Year, Diplomat said Friday.

Hagerman was among 45 nominees for the award, announced Thursday night during a reception at Lawrence Technological University. The award receives sponsorship from tax audit and advisory firm Grant Thornton LLP, WWJ Newsradio 950 and the Great Lakes Innovation and Technology Report. The university developed the award program to recognize Michigan business executives involved in professions and industries expected to be key to the state’s economic future.

Diplomat recently moved into the former General Motors Great Lakes Technology Center in Flint, Mich., where it plans to spend $12 million to refurbish the building and hire 150 more workers before the end of the year.

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Study: Unintentional drug overdoses ‘epidemic’ driven by prescription opioid use

BY Alaric DeArment

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — The number of unintentional deaths from overdosing on prescription opioid painkillers in 2007 was greater than those from heroin and cocaine combined, according to a new study by medical researchers at the University of North Carolina, Duke University and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who in particular called such deaths among teenagers and adults a national epidemic.

About 27,500 people died from unintentional overdoses on the drugs in 2007, and in some 20 states, the number of drug poisoning deaths exceeds that of either car crashes or suicides, according to the study, published online in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.

“It is very important to screen patients with chronic pain who may require opioid therapy for substance abuse and mental health problems, especially depression and other mood and anxiety disorders, and address these problems adequately,” the authors wrote.

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