By Alfred Lee, The China Post
Novartis (Taiwan) recently launched a new medicine for treating diabetic patients at a seminar sponsored by the Taiwan Diabetic Physicians Association.
The medicine was approved early this year by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and was recommended by doctors as the ideal medicine for treating type 2 diabetes.
According to Malcolm Nattrass, professor at the University Hospital of Birmingham, U.K., type 2 diabetes is a chronic progressive disorder affecting several millions of people worldwide and one million patients in Taiwan. This kind of diabetes weighs heavily upon health care systems worldwide and the mortality rate for those affected remains high.
Clinical studies demonstrated that a tight control of blood glucose in type 2 diabetic patients reduces the incidence of complications of the disease. The medicine was first introduced by Novo Nordisk of Denmark, a company established by three Nobel chemistry prizewinners and a leader in the treatment of diabetes. The medicine, registered under its trade name NovoNorm, is the first oral therapy, which is to be taken with a meal. It is a “one meal, one dose; no meal, no dose” medicine. It can also be taken 30 minutes after eating. When a diabetic patient is not eating, he does not need to take the drug. The medicine, when taken while eating, promotes and increases insulin secretion. Its predominant effect is to lower the dangerous post meal glucose spikes. Type 2 diabetes is characterized by two symptoms. The first is the resistance to insulin, and the second is one’s inability to produce insulin. These two symptoms can lead to cardiovascular diseases and increasing mortality rates. The drug will provide a safe and instant therapy for the diabetic individuals. Currently the Tri-Service General Hospital in Taipei, Changhua Christian Hospital, and Chi Mei Hospital in Tainan all offer this medication to their diabetic patients.