Publication Date 01/11/2011         Volume. 3 No. 10   
Information to Pharmacists


From the desk of the editor

Welcome to the November 2011 homepage edition of i2P - Information to Pharmacists.
The preceding weeks have seen an unprecedented reportage of the lack of integrity surrounding many decisions of the pharmaceutical industry.
Peter Sayers, Harvey Mackay,Loretta Marron and Mark Coleman (in the Pharmedia column) weigh in with their opinions and kick off a debate that will hopefully have all pharmacists adjust their core values and eliminate hypocrisy (the opposite side of the coin of integrity).

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A Lipitor Potential Replacement - New Drug by Sanofi-Aventis

Staff Writer

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Editing and Researching news and stories about global and local Pharmacy Issues

A new medicine being developed by Sanofi-Aventis of Paris, France, and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals of Tarrytown, N.Y., dramatically cut cholesterol on top of high doses of Pfizer's Lipitor, the best-selling cholesterol drug, the companies announced today.

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In one early test of the medicine, which must be injected, patients whose cholesterol was still too high on the 10-milligram dose of Lipitor had their Lipitor dose upped to 80 mg. Half then received the new drug, code-named REGN727. Those who received REGN727 saw their low-density lipoprotein, or “bad cholesterol,” drop 65%, compared to just 17% of those who only got an increased Lipitor dose. A third group of patients who did not up their Lipitor but did take REGN727 shots had a 65% reduction in LDL.

In another study of patients with heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia, a genetic disorder that caused high cholesterol, patients who took REGN727 saw their cholesterol decline between 30% and 65% depending on how the medicine was dosed.

The studies were only the second of two phases in drug development, and larger, more rigorous clinical trials will need to be conducted before the drug reaches the market.

REGN727 targets the protein produced by a gene called PCSK9. It has been a hot target for drug development for several years, and PFizer and Amgen are also developing PCSK9 shots. A 2006 paper in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that people who had mutations in the PCSK9 gene had a 28% lower levels of LDL in their blood than others and an 88% lower risk of heart disease.

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Submitted by Gerald Quigley on Sat, 26/11/2011 - 20:22.

Isn't it amazing that we make such as fuss about a new drug's ability to lower LDL, when so many options are readily available to do that already. More especially, these options don't have a down side. Apples,garlic, blueberries, fibre, grapefruit pulp, oily fish, oats, onion, spinach, yoghurt and green tea are part of a list of foods which we should be highlighting to our patients as part of good cardiovascular health management.

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