The FDA has approved Januvia, the first drug in a new class of diabetes medications.
An FDA official stated that it would provide "an important alternative" to current treatments for type 2 diabetes. A second drug of the same type, Galvus, is in the final stages of FDA review.
Januvia and Galvus work by enhancing natural body processes that keeps blood glucose at a safe level. The drugs block the action of an enzyme called dipeptidyl peptidase 4, or DPP-4. DPP-4 inactivates the hormones that stimulate the production of insulin.
Because the drugs functions only when blood sugar levels rise, it does not appear to cause the plunges in blood sugar associated with other diabetes treatments such as insulin.
Januvia was clinically tested on over 2,700 patients in studies lasting from 12 weeks to over a year. Side effects included respiratory infection, sore throat and diarrhea.
In its very finite wisdom, the FDA has another probably useless, and maybe dangerous drug called Januvia, coincidently marketed in America by Merck. And, pending final FDA approvals, Novartis may launch a second DPP-4 inhibitor, Galvus, by year's end.
No doubt, that rosy news about new diabetes drug in the pipeline contributed to Merck and Novartis stocks climbing by about a half-dollar. Of course, that'll happen with any drug costing patients close to $5 per pill, per day as Januvia does, especially since 17 million Americans have full-blown diabetes, and over 16 million Americans now have pre-diabetes. So 12 percent of the U.S. population now suffers from some type of diabetes.
No doubt, that rosy news about new diabetes drug in the pipeline contributed to Merck and Novartis stocks climbing by about a half-dollar. Of course, that'll happen with any drug costing patients close to $5 per pill, per day as Januvia does, especially since 17 million Americans have full-blown diabetes, and over 16 million Americans now have pre-diabetes. So 12 percent of the U.S. population now suffers from some type of diabetes.NEW FORUM
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Dr. Ron D'Agostino from L'Anse,Michigan posted the following intersesting comment on this article:
Although I agree completely that drugs are useless, and that any treatment of type 2 diabetes besides diet and exercise is enabling and therefore worse than nothing, non-physicians should realize:
If you argue with them they will usually leave the practice. If you try to do it over the course of tx, say years, a little at a time, the effect is so incrementally small -v- what you know a full blown natural treatment would provide that I just give up. There's not enough satifaction for me to offset the time and lost money of cajoling/patient loss.
I am starting to believe that I'm the one with a problem. These pts know eating like pigs and not exercising causes their health problems and shortened life spans. They have simply made a choice with which I do not agree. I think they are for the most part aware that the pills may help a little given that they are not going to change.
So I, like most of the profession and the drug companies catering to them, will ask once or twice if they want health or enablement, and go with their choice. At least untill I can stand it no longer and flip to diet dictocrat.
Such is the schizophrenia of trying to act on rationalization.
I could not disagree more strongly with Dr. D's post. Type 2 diabetes is virtaully 100% curable with proper diet and exericse. I have personally mentored many hundreds of people through this process.
is truly serving your patients.
Diabetes is an artifact of poor lifestyle choices, and it is curable, although not with a drug. Even the New England Journal of Medicine acknowledged five years ago that a healthier diet -- ideally based on your body's unique nutritional type -- and an exercise program can completely eradicate diabetes, an artifact of poor lifestyle choices.
Without exercise, I would be a type 2 diabetic. Running 20 miles a week seems to keep my blood sugar in a nearly ideal range.
When I reduce my miles to five or less, my blood sugar gradually rises to the diabetic range. One does not have to run 20 miles per week, but most diabetics will benefit from one hour of intense exercise at least five times per week, and more if their blood sugar is currently out of control.