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Study: Elevated glucose levels may be linked to colorectal cancer

BY Allison Cerra

BRONX, N.Y. — A new study conducted by researchers at Yeshiva University’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine found that high blood-sugar levels may be associated with an increased risk of colorectal cancer.

Researchers examined the fasting blood sugar and insulin levels of nearly 5,000 postmenopausal women — all of whom were enrolled in the National Institutes of Health’s landmark Women’s Health Initiative study — several times over a 12-year period.

By the end of the 12-year period, 81 of the women had developed colorectal cancer. The researchers found that elevated baseline glucose levels were associated with increased colorectal cancer risk, with women that were part of the highest third of baseline glucose levels were nearly twice as likely to have developed colorectal cancer, compared with women categorized in the lowest third of blood-glucose levels. Results were similar when the scientists looked at repeated glucose measurements over time, the researchers said. No association was found, however, between insulin levels and risk for colorectal cancer.

"The next challenge is to find the mechanism by which chronically elevated blood glucose levels may lead to colorectal cancer," said Geoffrey Kabat, a senior epidemiologist at Einstein and lead author of the paper. "It’s possible that elevated glucose levels are linked to increased blood levels of growth factors and inflammatory factors that spur the growth of intestinal polyps, some of which later develop into cancer."

The findings appeared online in the Nov. 29 edition of the British Journal of Cancer.


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ValueCentric introduces market insight service powered by Walgreens data

BY Michael Johnsen

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — ValueCentric on Wednesday announced it has reached an agreement with Walgreens that will allow ValueCentric to deliver channel- and store-level data services that provide pharmaceutical market insights based on retail data.

“I am extremely pleased that Walgreens has selected ValueCentric and our ValueTrak platform to bring innovative marketing and data programs to its manufacturer community,” stated Dave Janca, CEO ValueCentric. “Walgreens has a clear understanding of the value of working closer with manufacturers and providing them with unprecedented views into their distribution network in near real-time. Together, we are meeting the growing need for better and timelier information that manufacturers can easily access through ValueTrak to drive improved decision-making and business results.”

The new data services already have been delivered to several manufacturers, enabling them to more effectively execute product launches, analyze the performance of their product portfolios, and improve the accuracy of forecasts and financial projections, ValueCentric stated. The initial program offering provides for the reporting of data, such as daily inventory at Walgreens distribution centers, sales through both Walgreens and wholesaler distribution centers into all Walgreens stores, pharmacy decile reports and daily store-level inventory.

"The importance of maximizing brand potential across the product life cycle and providing better customer service at all levels of the supply chain has never been greater," the company stated. "Actual data, which is trusted by all parties and delivered in near real-time, now makes it possible for manufacturers to immediately understand and respond to market events and to gauge the effectiveness of various marketing programs they may be running."

 

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Packaged Facts: Pet drug sales to reach $6.7 billion in 2011

BY DSN STAFF

NEW YORK — While sales figures for pharmaceuticals are frequently reported on, drugs for people’s four-legged friends also are a money maker.

According to Packaged Facts, a division of MarketResearch.com, retail sales of pet medications — including sales through retail stores, online retailers and veterinarians — will reach $6.7 billion this year.

A new report from the firm, "Pet Medications in the U.S.," mass market channels are the least involved in pet medications among retailers. But online pharmacies, including those of Target and Walmart, have expanded their product range. Currently, according to the firm’s May-June 2011 Pet Owner Survey, 71% of prescription-only heartworm medications and 40% of nonprescription flea and tick spot-ons continue to be sold through veterinarians, which for many years "have been in the catbird seat" in pet medication sales.

"The underpinnings of the U.S. pet industry remain strong, and the outlook is especially favorable for all things pet-related," Packaged Facts publisher David Sprinkle said.

In some ways, trends driving pet medications seem to mirror the ones driving human medications. "Taking into account market drivers including the aging pet population, pet obesity and the heavy involvement of major pharmaceuticals companies, pet medications sales should return to their pre-recession rates of growth over the next few years, with annual percentage gains projected at 10% by 2015."


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