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Saturday, February 04, 2012

Now there is proof

I write a new column on health and politics for Sinclair News.  I am pleased to have this venue because it allows me more freedom to write about things that need to be uncensored and where the fear factor is not an issue.

While Larry Sinclair is, and has been, controversial, I have often found myself in that same class for decades.

In my article about Big PhRMA published on 28 January, I mentioned a new drug, Bydureon (exenatide extended release), manufactured by Amylin Pharmaceuticals.  This is their new version of Byetta.

"This long-acting form is a version of their diabetes drug Byetta, that can be used weekly. Byetta is a synthetic exenatide formulation with risk for severe allergic reactions affecting the skin and respiratory system as well as pancreatitis and kidney disease.
Now approved by the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) this newer drug comes with a label warning that the drug caused certain thyroid tumors in rats.
There has been no information provided by the manufacturer whether the drug causes these tumors in people. The warning does state that the drug should not be used by people with history of medullary thyroid carcinoma (cancer). And to think, it was the early pioneers in endocrinology that believed strongly that diabetes was a thyroid disorder.
In 2010 the FDA denied approval of Bydureon and requested additional studies and clinical data.
There is much to be seen from yet another synthetic and potentially risky drug. All drugs in this class have potential interaction issues with other prescriptions you may be taking. Make sure your prescriber and/or your pharmacist provides you with this information, and you clearly understand it." SOURCE
Byetta costs about $250 each month.  Bydureon costs about $600 each month.

A site I follow is Health News Review. This effort tries to educate you about news reports on health topics and how to judge their value.  It also promotes good journalism practices.  Some things they do not like are the press release and advertising reports often relied on in media and by TV news outlets.

Today I was slapped with a real pie in the face example of just this; the Medscape Special Report – February 3, 2012, from Medscape Diabetes.

From Medscape Diabetes
Expert Commentary
Bydureon: An Easy, Effective New Treatment for Type 2 Diabetes
Anne Peters, MD on Diabetes
Bydureon vs Victoza: It's On!
Matthew Mintz, MD: The Diabetes Beat
Latest News
Once-Weekly Exenatide Okayed by FDA for T2DM
Medscape Medical News 2012
Diabetes Drug Bydureon Gets EU Approval
Medscape Medical News 2011
From the Literature
Effects of GLP-1 Receptor Agonists on Weight Loss
BMJ January 2012
Short-term Exenatide Treatment Leads to Significant Weight Loss
Diabetes Care January 2012

With all this media glitz what is someone with diabetes to do to try an determine if this is really the best drug for them, especially with unknown cancer risks?


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