“New” Drug for Diabetes

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration a few days ago announced its approval of Juvisync for treatment of type 2 diabetes.  It’s just a combination of sitagliptin and simvastatin, drugs that have been on the market for years.  Simvastatin isn’t a diabetes control drug at all; it’s a cholesterol-lowering drug in the statin class.

Better living through chemistry

I often see patients with potential drug side effects.  If they’re taking six drugs, the culprit is usually only one of the drugs.  So I tell the patient to put that one drug on hold and see what happens.  Combination drugs interfere with that strategy, so I tend to avoid them. 

Steve Parker, M.D.

4 Comments

Filed under Drugs for Diabetes

4 responses to ““New” Drug for Diabetes

  1. Isn’t the rationale’ behind these combo drugs is often that they can be patented, and then advertised to us, so we will come into your office and say “Should I be on that new Juvisync instead of my sitagliptin? I saw that comedy actress takes it now.”

    • hostkabob, I’m not sure about that patent issue; you may well be right. I do know the drug compnanies will commonly take a regular drug they own, then modify the molecule or delivery system to turn the drug into a sustained-release preparation. That also extends the patent.
      Another thought I have is that statin drugs are over-prescribed. Patients should talk to their doctors to make sure they’re likely to benefit from the drug.

      -Steve

  2. Richard A.

    I suspect that there will be a big cost disadvantage in using Juvisync for treatment of type 2 diabetes.