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Walgreens, ESI dispute moves to arbitration following court decision

BY Michael Johnsen

CHICAGO — U.S. District Court judge Marvin Aspen ruled in favor of Walgreens on Thursday; Express Scripts’ federal suit against Walgreens will be halted pending arbitration.

The Express Scripts charges against Walgreens of breach of contract now will move to arbitration. Express Scripts originally had objected to arbitration because the process would be too slow. However, there may be some sense of urgency as Judge Aspen scheduled a status hearing for Dec. 8.

"We are very pleased with the court’s decision today, in which Judge Aspen agreed that Express Scripts brought its claims in the wrong forum, granted our motion and ordered Express Scripts to abide by its contractual obligations and submit the matter to binding arbitration," Walgreens spokesman Michael Polzin said.

Express Scripts also was satisfied with the ruling. "We are pleased the court recognized the importance of getting this decided quickly," Thom Gross, Express Scripts senior manager communications, shared with Drug Store News in an email. "The court effectively said delay is not an option. We are perfectly happy to go to arbitration — we just want a quick resolution," he noted. "We will continue to pursue injunctive relief either in arbitration or in federal court."

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American Diabetes Association: NIH, NIDDK aid fight to stop diabetes

BY Allison Cerra

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases play an important role in discovering innovative ways to address the growing diabetes epidemic in the United States, the American Diabetes Association said at a congressional briefing.

The briefing, "Advancing Discovery: The Role of NIH Research in Fighting Diabetes," was held in conjunction with the Ad-Hoc Group for Medical Research, a coalition of national organizations that support federal funding for the NIH, and cosponsored by the ADA.

The briefing was held as members of Congress are mulling ways to fund federal programs in fiscal year 2012. NIDDK, which is 1-of-27 NIH institutes, is the primary federal agency that conducts research to find a cure for diabetes and improve diabetes care, the ADA said.

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BI, Lilly drug reduces blood sugar over long term

BY Alaric DeArment

LISBON, Portugal — A drug made by Boehringer Ingelheim and Eli Lilly showed "meaningful and durable" reductions in blood sugar in adults with Type 2 diabetes, according to results of a late-stage clinical trial presented Friday at a conference in Europe.

BI and Lilly presented data from their 102-week phase-3 study of Tradjenta (linagliptin) at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes’ 47th annual meeting in Lisbon, Portugal, showing that the drug lowered HbA1C levels by 0.8% over the long term. The drug is marketed in Europe under the name Trajenta.

"These results show that the efficacy achieved by linagliptin is reliable and meaningful in a clinical setting, but also that it is durable over the long term," said David Owens, a medical professor at Cardiff University School of Medicine, in Wales.

In the 2,121-patient study, patients were given Tradjenta, Tradjenta with metformin or Takeda’s Actos (pioglitazone) or Trajdenta with metformin and sulphonylurea.

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