Byetta and Januvia in battle of press releases

Summary:For patients, the real difference is that Byetta is a twice-daily shot and Januvia a once-daily pill. Advantage Merck.

Januvia bottleWhen I last wrote about the makers of Byetta and Januvia, two leading diabetes drugs, I called them the Hatfields and McCoys of diabetes care.

Good call, that one.

The two manufacturers, Amylin (Byetta) and Merck (Januvia), are now out with dueling press releases each claiming their treatment is the best.

Merck said Januvia was well tolerated over two years, that it's very good when used with metformin or Avandia, and look here are five studies in all showing our drug is good.

Amylin responded with its own release, saying Byetta produced lower glucose levels than Januvia, because it made more efficient use of insulin.

For patients, the real difference is that Byetta is a twice-daily shot and Januvia a once-daily pill. Advantage Merck.

Byetta has hope that a time release version, now undergoing trial, can still win the day. That would be a once-weekly jab instead of the pill. Can you do that?

In theory, I can see both these drugs as winners, depending on the severity of the case as determined by physicians.

Financial analysts contacted by Forbes aren't buying it.

With no financial stake in this battle, I'm willing to let it go on, but Wall Street seems to want to declare Januvia a winner by knockout.

So, too, some lawyers.

Topics: Health

About

Dana Blankenhorn has been a business journalist since 1978, and has covered technology since 1982. He launched the Interactive Age Daily, the first daily coverage of the Internet to launch with a magazine, in September 1994.

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