Metformin

15 Feb: Diabetes drug may be a little fishy

  New studies released today found that many who take the popular diabetes medication, metformin find the odor off-putting, and some have trouble taking the medication. The “fishy” odor is especially noticeable in the immediate release versions. “Metformin is an excellent drug, but the immediate-release formulation may have an odor to it. The smell is fishy or like the inside of an inner tube, and in a patient’s mind, because it smells like something that has gone bad, they may think the drug isn’t good,” explained one of the letter’s authors, J. Russell May, a clinical professor at the University of Georgia College of Pharmacy at the Medical College of Georgia. However, May said, “some metformin products on the market…

17 Nov: Is Januvia worth the price?

The Type 2 diabetes drug Januvia (sitagliptin) has become a source of controversy after the drug’s maker, Merck, funded a letter to doctors by CVS Caremark, the pharmacy benefits manager, urging the physicians to add the drug to specific patients’ treatment regimens. Januvia costs as much as 10 times the price of older diabetes drugs such as metformin and glipizide xl. (Note: Januvia purchased from a Canadian pharmacy costs about half as much as from a U.S. pharmacy — though it is still significantly more expensive than metformin and glipizide.) Beyond the apparent conflict of interest in CVS Caremark’s letter, the question most important to patients is whether Januvia’s superiority over older, cheaper diabetes drugs makes it worth the additional…

29 Oct: Cost of diabetes drugs has nearly doubled

Kaiser reports that the cost of diabetes medications in the United States grew to $12.5 billion in 2007 from $6.7 billion in 2001 — an increase of 87 percent. According to a new study: …the average cost of diabetes medications increased to $76 in 2007 from $56 in 2001. In addition, the study found that more patients received multiple prescriptions for diabetes medications … According to the study, 82% of patients in 1994 received only one diabetes medication, compared with 47% of patients in 2007… Caleb Alexander, a co-author of the study, said it is unclear whether the increases in treatment and associated costs are actually yielding additional health benefits. On a more positive note, Kaiser also reports that metformin,…