HEALTH

Novo Nordisk launches online contest for insulin pen users

BY Allison Cerra

PRINCETON, N.J. Novo Nordisk is asking diabetics to show off how they flex — their insulin pens.

In an effort to change the way people think about taking insulin, Novo Nordisk has launched an online photo contest, “Where Have You Flexed,” for patients who use Levemir FlexPen, NovoLog FlexPen and NovoLog Mix 70/30 FlexPen. Patients can visit WhereHaveYouFlexed.com to submit photos they have taken in unique locations with their FlexPen.

“’Where Have You Flexed’ is an exciting way for people using the FlexPen to show first-hand how they can conveniently take their insulin on-the-go,” said Camille Lee, VP diabetes marketing for Novo Nordisk. “Through the interactive voting function on the site, we look forward to seeing which entries have the biggest impact within the diabetes community and hope that people still taking insulin with a vial and syringe will be inspired to talk to their doctor about FlexPen.”

Also on the WhereHaveYouFlexed.com site, viewers can watch video with stories from Firestone Indy Lights racecar driver Charlie Kimball, who uses the Levemir FlexPen to help manage his diabetes. The grand prize winner of the Where Have You Flexed contest (determined by a panel of judges and consumer votes) will receive a trip for two to the Firestone Indy Lights championship in Miami on Oct. 2 to see Kimball race, or an elliptical trainer exercise machine delivered to their home. Second and third place winners will receive exercise equipment for their home, while anyone who registers to vote on the site will be entered in a random drawing to win one of five iPod touch portable music players.

“As a professional racing driver, I get to ‘flex’ all over the country — including on the racetrack,” said Kimball, who drives the No. 26 Levemir FlexPen car and is the only licensed racer with Type 1 diabetes in the history of the Indy Racing League. “I’m looking forward to seeing the photos of where other patients with diabetes use their FlexPen and sharing videos of my experiences on the road.”

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CRN honors Mason, Chen for safety, efficacy research of bioactive compounds

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON Joel Mason and Hong Chen were both honored earlier this week by the Council for Responsible Nutrition with the Mary Swartz Rose Senior Investigator Award and the Mary Swartz Rose Young Investigator Award, respectively, during the American Society for Nutrition Scientific Sessions and Annual Meeting held in conjunction with Experimental Biology 2010 in Anaheim, Calif.

The awards, jointly presented by ASN and the CRN, are given with the intent to recognize outstanding research on the safety and efficacy of bioactive compounds for human health.

“It is gratifying to partner with ASN to honor scientists for their work, and it is a particular privilege to present the 2010 Mary Swartz Rose awards to both Dr. Mason and Dr. Chen as their work is critical for further understanding the role of nutrition in colon cancer,” stated Andrew Shao, SVP scientific and regulatory affairs, CRN.

Mason, of Tufts University, first began studying how the intake of folate and other 1-carbon nutrients modulate the risk of developing cancer in the 1980s, helping turn the field of which he was a pioneer into one of the more popular fields in nutrition research. His laboratory’s clinical trials were among the first to define how folate supplementation impacts on molecular events in the colon. More recently, he has been a proponent of the “duel” effect of folate on cancer, hypothesizing that the rise in colorectal cancer rates in North America in the mid-1990’s was related to excessive amounts of folic acid in the foodstream. Mason currently serves on the Professional Education Committee of the American Society for Nutrition and the Editorial Board of the Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition.

Chen, assistant professor in the department of food science and human nutrition at the University of Illinois, Urbana, has established herself as an important contributor to the understanding of the role of epigenetic modifications on colon cancer and prevention, as well as how they are regulated by dietary components in colon tumor cells and animal models. In the future, Chen’s current hypothesis which is under investigation could help in the understanding of soy bioactives and their effects on the epigenome and may, ultimately, aid in the development of efficacious dietary interventions for colon cancer prevention.

These awards are named in honor of the late Mary Swartz Rose (1874–1941), a founder and president of the American Institute of Nutrition (now known as ASN). The Mary Swartz Rose Senior Investigator Award is given to an investigator with 10 years or more of postgraduate training, for outstanding preclinical and/or clinical research on the safety and efficacy of dietary supplements as well as essential nutrients and other biologically active food components that might be distributed as supplements or components in functional foods. The Mary Swartz Rose Young Investigator Award is based on the same research qualifications, but is given to an investigator with 10 or less years of postgraduate training.

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Child’s weight may cause drugs to metabolize differently, study suggests

BY Michael Johnsen

ANAHEIM, Calif. Researchers from the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy have provided the first evidence-based data on changes in drug metabolism in obese children as compared with healthy-weight children.

The study, conducted by L’Aurelle Johnson and Manoj Chiney in the Department of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacy, evaluated drug metabolism in 16 healthy weight children and nine obese children.

“We have known for years that drugs metabolize differently in obese adults as compared to healthy weight adults,” stated Johnson. “But, there has been very little, if any, information available that specifically addresses the consequences of obesity on drug metabolism in children. Without this information, our ability to identify optimal drug dosing in children often relies on trial and error approaches.”

In the study, Johnson and Chiney examined drug metabolizing enzyme activity in healthy weight and obese children, ages 6 to 10 years old. Specifically, they looked at how the children metabolized caffeine and dextromethorphan, an over-the-counter cough suppressant.

They found that obese children metabolized both drugs at different rates than healthy-weight children.

Johnson said this finding is the first of many steps in determining the overall effect of obesity on drug absorption, distribution, metabolism and elimination in children. She plans to conduct additional research to define the activity of other drug metabolizing enzymes that may also be altered in the pediatric population as a result of obesity.

“Collectively, such knowledge concerning key factors that impact activity of drug metabolizing enzymes in children will have a significant positive impact on the development of optimal drug dosing regiments in children in order to maximize efficacy, while minimizing potential adverse drug effects, in the treatment of serious diseases such as cancer,” Johnson said.

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