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FDA approves Merck’s diabetes-cholesterol pill

By Associated Press
October 8, 2011

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TRENTON, N.J. - The first pill for millions of people with the dangerous combination of diabetes and high cholesterol won US approval yesterday, offering convenience - and savings - to patients taking multiple pills.

Juvisync, a probable blockbuster developed by Merck & Co., will be launched in a few weeks. It combines Merck’s Type 2 diabetes pill Januvia with Zocor, a former Merck blockbuster in the widely used class of cholesterol-fighting drugs called statins.

The combination pill will sell for the same price as Januvia alone, about $215 per month. Generic versions of Zocor cost about $30 a month.

That should make Juvisync attractive for millions of diabetics currently not taking a statin. Guidelines from the American Diabetes Association recommend that diabetics with heart disease or who are older than 40 take a statin pill daily.