The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Oct. 7, 2011, approved a combined diabetes-cholesterol drug, according to Bloomberg.
The new pill combines the Type 2 diabetes medication Januvia® with the cholesterol drug Zocor®. It is the first drug to combine medications that lower both cholesterol and glucose. The new medication is called Juvisync®.
Merck’s U.S. scientific director for diabetes and obesity Sethu Reddy said that three in four deaths in people with Type 2 diabetes are caused by cardiovascular disease.
“Hundreds of thousands of people in the U.S. with Type 2 diabetes may already be taking Januvia® and simvastatin [Zocor®] pills,” said Michael Davidson in an interview with Bloomberg. Davidson is director of preventive cardiology at the University of Chicago Medical Center.
Fixed dose combinations of both drugs have been developed to meet the individual needs of different patients.
“High blood sugar and cholesterol issues are so intertwined, and diabetes and heart disease are so intertwined, that it makes sense to try to treat them simultaneously, as opposed to separately and individually,” Reddy said.
Last year Januvia® sold $2.39 billion worth of its medication and ® brought in $468 million.