Diabetics gained a new way of controlling their blood sugar levels Tuesday with federal approval of a novel pill for Type 2 dibetes, which affects about 20 million Americans. The Food and Drug administration said it approved Januvia, which enhances the body's own ability to lower blood sugat levels, after clinical trials showing the new pill works just as well as older diabetes drugs, but with fewer side effects like weight gain. The drug is made by Merck and Co. Inc. Merck is expected to charge $4.86 for the once-daily tablet, a price tag that may limit its use. Older diabetes drugs can cost 50 cents a day. Januvia, also know as sitagliptin phospahate, works with a one-two punch: It increases levels of a hormone that triggers the pancreas to produce more insulin to process blood sugar while simultaneously signaling the liver to quit making glucose.
Januvia is unlike any other oral drug for treating Type 2 diabetes. However, Novaetis AG hope to win FDS apporval for a simiar drug this year. "In the way diabetes story is being played out, we are begining to have agents that are allowing us to have some control over blood sugars without weight gain. That is the excitement about these products," said Dr. Stuart Weiss, an endocrinologist and assitant clinical professor at New York University School of Medicine. AP
Posted by Briley Knox