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One-a-day pill OK’d for Type 2 diabetes

Rating

4 Star

One-a-day pill OK’d for Type 2 diabetes

Our Review Summary

This story reports on the FDA approval of a new drug, Januvia, for the treatment of type-2 diabetes. Januvia is yet another option in a large sea of existing therapies for type -2 diabetes. Januvia may represent an improvement over other therapies in its convenience and a possible decreased risk of side effects. Januvia can be taken once a day orally, as opposed to injections or multiple daily oral doses for other drugs. However, because Januvia represents a new approach to treating diabetes, little is known about its long-term safety or efficacy and it is still unclear how it will fit in with existing approaches. This story does provide the reader with some context for the controversy around this drug, but could have gone further to inform the reader.

The story does not quantify the benefits of treatment. The story does state that the effects of the drug were "modest," but this is not adequate information on the benefits of treatment. Although the story indicates that further research is needed, it does not adequately describe the nature of the existing evidence. Furthermore, the story states that the drug will cost $4.86, but there is no indication of how this cost compares to existing therapies. Furthermore, it is likely that often the drug will need to be combined with other drugs, adding to the costs.

By accurately describing the prevalence and seriousness of diabetes, the story does not engage in disease mongering. The story does mention alternative treatments, such as diet and exercise, metformin, and insulin, however the story could have done more to explain how this new drug will fit in with existing therapies. Furthermore, the story should have compared the side effects of the new drug to some of the newer drugs on the market, such as Byetta, and not to some of the older drugs.

 

Criteria

Does the story adequately discuss the costs of the intervention?

Not Satisfactory

The story states that the drug will cost $4.86, but there is no indication of how this cost compares to existing therapies. Furthermore, it is likely that often the drug will need to be combined with another drug, adding to the costs.  Also the article cites what is likely to be the average wholesale price and not the price to the consumer.

Does the story adequately quantify the benefits of the treatment/test/product/procedure?

Not Satisfactory

The story does not quantify the benefits of treatment. The story does state that the effects of the drug were "modest," but this is not adequate information on the benefits of treatment.

Does the story adequately explain/quantify the harms of the intervention?

Satisfactory

The story mentions the side effects of the drug. The story also comments on the uncertainty around the long-term safety of the drug.

Does the story seem to grasp the quality of the evidence?

Not Satisfactory

Although the story indicates that further research is needed, it does not adequately describe the nature of the existing evidence.

Does the story commit disease-mongering?

Satisfactory

By accurately describing the prevalence and seriousness of diabetes, the story does not engage in disease mongering.

Does the story use independent sources and identify conflicts of interest?

Satisfactory

The story quotes multiple sources. The story aso points out that an expert was paid by the drug company.

Does the story compare the new approach with existing alternatives?

Satisfactory

The story does mention alternative treatments, such as diet and exercise, metformin, and insulin, however the story could have done more to explain how this new drug will fit in with existing therapies. Furthermore, the story should have compared the side effects of the new drug to some of the newer drugs on the market, such as Byetta, and not to some of the older drugs.

Does the story establish the availability of the treatment/test/product/procedure?

Satisfactory

The story clearly states that the drug was recently approved and will soon be on the market.

Does the story establish the true novelty of the approach?

Satisfactory

The story clearly states that this drug is the first in its class, representing a novel approach to the treatment of diabetes, however there are several others that are in the pipeline that will likely be available by the end of the year.

Does the story appear to rely solely or largely on a news release?

Satisfactory

Because the story quotes multiple independent sources, the reader can assume the story does not rely on a press release as the sole source of information.

Total Score: 7 of 10 Satisfactory

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