HEALTH

Ophthalmologists note rise in diabetic eye disease incidence

BY Allison Cerra

SAN FRANCISCO On World Diabetes Day, the American Academy of Ophthalmology, through its EyeSmart campaign, is reminding the public that an annual dilated eye exam can help prevent vision loss in people with diabetes.

To promote awareness of the need for an annual eye exam, the Academy, along with its partners the American Society of Retina Specialists, the Macula Society and the Retina Society, has launched EyeSmart EyeCommitted, a social media campaign to encourage people with diabetes to pledge to get an annual eye exam.

“As ophthalmologists, we are concerned that the increase in Type 2 diabetes cases at younger ages could mean people may be facing vision-threatening eye disease in the prime of their lives,” said David W. Parke II, MD, EVP and CEO of the the American Academy of Ophthalmology. “That is why we’re urging people with diabetes to get EyeCommitted. By taking charge of their eye health, Americans can greatly reduce their risk of losing their sight from diabetes.”

The EyeCommitted campaign, which is promoted through social media channels,includes an interactive pledge application that:

  • Encourages visitors to take the EyeCommitted pledge to have an annual diabetic eye exam;
  • Allows users to share the pledge and campaign information with friends and family;  
  • Features important diabetic eye disease information and a new video that tells the compelling stories of two patients with diabetic retinopathy; and,
  • Allows users to post the application onto their preferred social media sites.  

For each pledge, the academy will commit another $1 to its diabetic eye health education efforts.

An estimated 23.6 million Americans have Type 2 diabetes, but nearly one quarter are unaware of it. African-Americans and people of Hispanic heritage are more likely to have diabetes.

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Teva discontinues two-tablet Plan B

BY Michael Johnsen

NORTH WALES, Pa. Teva Women’s Health has discontinued production of the original Plan B emergency contraceptive with the September introduction of its Plan B One-Step, the company recently stated.

“Two-tablet Plan B is not being manufactured or marketed by Teva Women’s Health at this time,” the company stated. “However, some pharmacies and clinics may still have limited quantities of the two-tablet product in-stock.”

Plan B One-Step replaces the two-pill regimen of levonorgestrel tablet, 0.75 mg, taken 12 hours apart with a one-pill, levonorgestrel tablet, 1.5 mg, treatment protocol.

“Emergency contraception is more effective the sooner it’s taken, and Plan B One-Step allows women to act quickly after the unexpected happens because it’s only one pill that’s taken in one dose,” stated Amy Niemann, general manager and SVP of Teva Women’s Health, at the time of the launch.

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Prevacid 24HR to launch with $200 million ad campaign

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK Novartis will storm the antacid market next week with a $200 million ad campaign behind its launch of Prevacid 24HR, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

Television spots to differentiate Prevacid 24HR from its antacid competition — Procter & Gamble’s Prilosec OTC, McNeil Consumer’s Pepcid Complete, Boehringer Ingelheim’s Zantac 150 and GlaxoSmithKline’s Tums, to name just a few — are expected to begin airing Thursday, underscoring the emotional difficulties of heartburn sufferers.

According to the Journal, the tagline for the antacid new addition will be: “Prevacid 24HR: When you’ve had it with heartburn.”

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