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Merck's Latest Drug Scam: Treating Diabetes

Yesterday, in its very finite wisdom, the FDA approved what one official called "an important alternative" to existing treatments for type 2 diabetes: Another probably useless, and maybe dangerous drug called Januvia, coincidently marketed in America by Merck.

Januvia represents the debut of a new class of diabetes drugs that works by enhancing the body's natural process of maintaining a safe level of blood sugar by deactivating the DPP-4 enzyme . Because it works right along with rising blood sugars, FDA officials claim Januvia doesn't cause the sharp drops in blood sugar that occur with insulin and other drugs.

And, pending final FDA approvals, Novartis may launch a second DPP-4 inhibitor, Galvus, by year's end. No doubt, that rosy news about new diabetes drug in the pipeline contributed to Merck and Novartis stocks climbing by about a half-dollar. Of course, that'll happen with any drug costing patients close to $5 per pill, per day as Januvia does...

Just a reminder, even the New England Journal of Medicine acknowledged five years ago a healthier diet -- ideally based on your body's unique nutritional type -- and an exercise program can completely eradicate diabetes, an artifact of poor lifestyle choices.

USA Today October 17, 2006

MarketWatch.com October 17, 2006