Merck, Januvia and Blood Pressure Medicine

Monday, October 23, 2006

Narrow minded Forbes Article: Fat City

Fat City -

The article is helpful as an overview of the state of the diabetes drug market. The name and premise of the article are a little too gimicky and rife with stereotypes.

Some 400 diabetes drugs are now being tried out on animals or people. They aim to lessen the side effects of older drugs--heart failure and weight gain for starters--or stave off or reduce the need for insulin shots, the standard way of replenishing the sugar-regulating hormone. Pfizer just started marketing the first inhaled insulin product, Exubera; competitors with sleeker inhaled products are a few years behind. Meanwhile, Sanofi-Aventis is testing its highly anticipated experimental obesity pill, rimonabant, in diabetics, although U.S. Food & Drug Administration approval was delayed.


Januvia is the first in a new class of diabetes medicine known as DPP-4
inhibitor. The drug works by enhancing the body's own ability to lower blood
sugar, or glucose, when it is elevated. ...According to Dr. John Amatruda, vice
president of clinical research for Merck, the drug's label will also reflect
that its side-effect profile is similar to placebo, or fake pill. Those side
effects include runny nose, sore throat, upper respiratory tract infection and
diarrhea. Unlike current diabetes drugs on the market, DPP-4 inhibitors don't
cause weight gain, which is seen as a major benefit, as the majority of diabetes
type 2 patients are already overweight or obese. "We now have an option for
physicians of a new and novel drug which has powerful glucose lowering efficacy
without causing many of the side effects of current agents," Amatruda said. "And
it can be used both alone and in combination."


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