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Monday, October 11, 2010

Diabetes Drugs, What’s in the Pipeline

Diabetes drugs have for their goal to get the blood glucose levels of patients under control. There is one that does this with a side effect of weight loss. These drugs are called GLP1 agonists. Mind you, just because they say this, it does not mean that we will take their words as gospel truth. We still have to monitor our body's reaction to this drug.

That said, with approximately 90% of those with type 2 diabetes being obese or overweight, then this side effect could be a blessing as long as we keep our wit about us so that this does not turn out to be more than a blessing in disguise. We have to be careful when it comes to how is diabetes treated.

Are there fewer injections now and more sales of drugs? That's what we hear and that's what studies are telling us. Byetta, for example, just made $679 million in sales one year when it has been in the market since 2005. They say that the main cause for this poor performance (although it is not so in my book) is because it has to be injected two times a day.

I can understand why the twice a day injection will turn people off especially when there are oral drugs that work well at keeping the blood glucose levels within the target range. More especially now with the drug that promises weight loss on top of the blood glucose control.

There are other drugs as well and I am not 100% sure at what stage they are in when it comes to the Food and Drug Administration’s say-so. They have become more cautious and rightly so in the wake of the fiasco involving GlaxoSmithKline's Avandia and the potential heart problems they may cause.

The last time I looked, a number has been trying to develop a once a week version. This should not pose a major challenge except that with the development of any drugs, anything goes or nothing is certain. There are quite a few in the pipeline at different stages of clinical trials but as to which one will ultimately get the FDA nod, I will not hazard a guess.

The article I read has a list of diabetes treatment that I like because it will give us an option as to the form of treatment we need. It could be oral or to be injected and even with the last one, there is a choice as to the number of injections one can tolerate.

Actually those developing a drug that will be injected are taking a chance for people usually do not like sticking a needle in various parts of their body. So those whose researches are underway can still fall flat on their faces. The thing is diabetes is here to stay for awhile so these pharmaceutical companies will keep developing diabetes drugs.

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