VANCOUVER, Aug. 5, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - On July 30, 2014, Merck was
advised by the British Columbia Medical Beneficiary and Pharmaceutical
Services Division of the delisting of all sitagliptin products from the
British Columbia Pharmacare Benefits Program. Effective August 5, 2014,
the British Columbia Medical Beneficiaries and Pharmaceutical Services
Division is adjusting its coverage of DPP-4 inhibitor drugs; as such,
coverage of sitagliptin products will end for all patients on February
5, 2015. Based on Merck's information, the customary consultation from
relevant stakeholders, including health care professionals and
patients, has not taken place. Merck strongly disagrees with this
approach. Merck wishes to emphasize that the British Columbia Medical
Beneficiaries and Pharmaceutical Services Division decision was in no
way related to the established safety, tolerability and efficacy of
Januvia® and Janumet®, as detailed in their product monographs.
Patient response to different therapies is variable; by limiting
therapeutic options, this in turn limits therapeutic benefits and may
destabilize patient care. Merck believes that maintaining patient
stability and offering treatment options is critical to improved health
outcomes and management of total healthcare system costs.
Merck supports a patient-centered approach, where the impact on patients
is the primary consideration. The choice of treatment options and
individualization of treatment are paramount to patient care. Merck
remains committed to working with governments and key stakeholders to
help manage overall healthcare costs and sustainability, and improve
patient health outcomes, by providing competitive pricing for
medications and innovative solutions.
For Additional Information
Patients who need more information about managing their diabetes should
talk with their health care providers.
Health care providers who want information about JANUVIA® or JANUMET®,
should contact the Merck Customer Information Centre at 1-800-567-2594.
About JANUVIA® (sitagliptin) 25 mg, 50 mg and 100 mg tablets
JANUVIA® is a type of prescription diabetes medicine called a DPP-4 inhibitor
(dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitor) that enhances the body's own ability
to control blood sugar levels.
JANUVIA® helps the body increase insulin production when blood sugar is high,
especially after eating. It also helps to reduce the amount of sugar
made by the liver.
JANUVIA® works only when blood sugar levels are high.
Because JANUVIA® stops working before blood sugar gets too low, it is not likely to
cause low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). If you take JANUVIA® with another medicine that can cause low blood sugar (hypoglycemia),
such as a sulfonylurea or insulin, your risk of getting low blood sugar
is higher. The dose of sulfonylurea medicine or insulin may need to be
lowered while using JANUVIA®.
Prescribing Information for JANUVIA (sitagliptin tablets) at:
Medication Guide for JANUVIA at:
About JANUMET® (sitagliptin and metformin hydrochloride tablets)
JANUMET® is an oral prescription medicine that, along with diet and exercise,
helps lower blood sugar in adults with type 2 diabetes. JANUMET® tablets contain 2 prescription medicines: sitagliptin (JANUVIA®) and metformin. Metformin is a member of the biguanide class of
medicines. It helps to lower the amount of sugar made by the liver.
Together, these medicines can help achieve better blood sugar control.
Prescribing Information for JANUMET (sitagliptin) at:
Medication Guide for JANUMET at:
About Type 2 Diabetes in BC, and in Canada
Today, there are more 224,775 Type 2 diabetic patients in British
Columbia.1 There are more than nine million Canadians living with diabetes or
prediabetes, of which 90 cent have Type 2 diabetes, which occurs when
the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body does not
effectively use the insulin that is produced. Type 2 diabetes usually
develops in adulthood, although children can be affected.2, 3
Diabetes is a complex chronic condition, which is often associated with
cardiovascular disease, renal disease and obesity4.
Individuals with diabetes are4:
over three times more likely to be hospitalized with cardiovascular
disease than individuals without diabetes;
12 times more likely to be hospitalized with end-stage renal disease;
almost 20 times more likely to be hospitalized with non-traumatic lower
Today's Merck is a global healthcare leader working to help the world be
well. Merck is known as MSD outside the United States and Canada.
Through our prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, and
consumer care and animal health products, we work with customers and
operate in more than 140 countries to deliver innovative health
solutions. We also demonstrate our commitment to increasing access to
healthcare through far-reaching policies, programs and partnerships.
For more information about our operations in Canada, visit www.merck.ca.
Merck Forward-Looking Statement
This news release includes "forward-looking statements" within the
meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the United States Private
Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based
upon the current beliefs and expectations of Merck's management and are
subject to significant risks and uncertainties. If underlying
assumptions prove inaccurate or risks or uncertainties materialize,
actual results may differ materially from those set forth in the
Risks and uncertainties include but are not limited to, general industry
conditions and competition; general economic factors, including
interest rate and currency exchange rate fluctuations; the impact of
pharmaceutical industry regulation and health care legislation in the
United States and internationally; global trends toward health care
cost containment; technological advances, new products and patents
attained by competitors; challenges inherent in new product
development, including obtaining regulatory approval; Merck's ability
to accurately predict future market conditions; manufacturing
difficulties or delays; financial instability of international
economies and sovereign risk; dependence on the effectiveness of
Merck's patents and other protections for innovative products; and the
exposure to litigation, including patent litigation, and/or regulatory
Merck undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking
statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or
otherwise. Additional factors that could cause results to differ
materially from those described in the forward-looking statements can
be found in Merck's 2013 Annual Report on Form 10-K and the company's
other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
available at the SEC's Internet site (www.sec.gov).
1 Statistics Canada, 2012
2 Public Health Agency of Canada, Diabetes in Canada: 2011
3 Canadian Diabetes Association: http://www.diabetes.ca/about-diabetes/what-is-diabetes
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Justin Holko: (+1 908-423-5088 or firstname.lastname@example.org)