PHARMACY

Mylan launches generic Roxicodone through deal with Coastal Pharmaceuticals

BY Alaric DeArment

PITTSBURGH — Mylan has launched a generic version of an opioid painkiller, the company said Wednesday.

Mylan announced the launch of oxycodone hydrochloride tablets in the 5-mg, 15-mg and 30-mg strengths. Mylan is launching the drug under a development and supply agreement with Coastal Pharmaceuticals.

The drug is a generic version of Xanodyne’s Roxicodone, a treatment for moderate to severe pain. Oxycodone hydrochloride tablets had sales of about $325 million during the 12-month period ended in March, according to IMS Health.

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PHARMACY

Gluten may not influence babies’ risk of developing Type 1 diabetes

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK — Introducing a gluten-free diet to an infant may not reduce its risk of developing Type 1 diabetes, according to a new study published in Diabetes Care.

German researchers analyzed data pooled from 150 infants with a first-degree family history of Type 1 diabetes and randomly exposed them to gluten at the age of 6 months (control group) or 12 months (late-exposure group). The infants then were followed until 3 years of age (and annually thereafter for safety purposes).

The researchers found that 70% of families followed the dietary-intervention protocol, and that only seven children developed diabetes: three from the early-exposure group and four in the late-exposure group.

The study authors concluded that while delaying gluten exposure until a child reaches 12 months of age is safe, doing so will not substantially reduce the risk of diabetes.

The study was submitted to the journal in late December 2010 and was published April 22.

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Study: CT scans could help predict early death among diabetes patients

BY Allison Cerra

WAKE FOREST, N.C. — A common test may help predict early death among diabetes patients, a new study found.

According to research lead by Donald Bowden, director of the Center for Diabetes Research at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, the examination of a patient’s coronary artery calcium score — which measures the amount of calcified plaque buildup in blood vessels — through a computed tomography scan, or CT scan, could indicate the patient’s risk of coronary heart disease, which can lead to premature death.

For the "Diabetes Heart Study," Bowden and colleagues followed nearly 1,500 patients with diabetes in North Carolina for about 13 years, gathering data on various aspects of the disease and how it affects individual health. The researchers separated the study participants into five groups, according to the amount of calcified plaque they had in their blood vessels at the beginning of the study. The health of those participants then was followed for an average of 7.4 years before researchers compared the data from those who died during the study with those who still were living.

"We saw a dramatic risk of dying earlier in the people with highest levels of calcified plaque in their blood vessels," Bowden and researchers said.

The new study appears in the May issue of Diabetes Care.

"People with diabetes are already at high risk of developing heart disease and experiencing an early death," Bowden said. "With this study, we’ve discovered that we can identify a subset of individuals within this high-risk group who are at even higher risk, and the means to do this is already widely available in the form of a CT scan — a relatively inexpensive and noninvasive test."

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