Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Older, cheaper diabetes drugs as good as newer

From CTV News:
Older and cheaper pills are just as effective for treating diabetes as some of the more expensive new drugs, researchers report in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

The findings are good news for diabetics who have trouble affording their medication and could further hurt sales of newer and heavily-marketed drugs, such as Avandia.

Researchers, led by Dr. Shari Bolen of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, read through 216 published studies and two systematic reviews. Their comparison of 10 diabetes drugs showed they all worked well to reduce levels of glucose in the blood, though each has its drawbacks, the researchers found.

One of the best medications was metformin, sold under the brand name Glucophage and Glumetza as well as generically, for about US$100 a year. It works just as well as other diabetes pills but does not cause weight gain or too-low blood sugar, the analysis found. It also lowers LDL or bad cholesterol. ...more

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