New medication could enable type 2 diabetics to take fewer pills each day

Given the fact that heart complications are so common among individuals with type 2 diabetes, it is essential for diabetics to take steps to improve their cardiovascular condition. Heart disease is the leading cause of death among those with the metabolic condition.

For many people, improving cardiovascular health means taking multiple medications. However, the more pills a person has to take on a daily basis, the less likely they are to faithfully take all their drugs as prescribed. Having too many prescriptions can cause a person to forget a dose here and there or to neglect picking up a medication at the pharmacy due the high cost.

In order to address this problem, the Food and Drug Administration recently approved a new medication that combines an effective blood sugar-regulating drug with a cholesterol-lowering medication. The pairing will allow diabetics to take one pill a day to simultaneously improve their heart health and metabolic condition.

Juvisync is a combination of the common type 2 diabetes drug Januvia and the statin Zocor. It will be marketed by the pharmaceutical company Merck. Experts said that that enabling diabetics to limit the number of medications they take each day could greatly improve their treatment.

"Anything to reduce the cost is going to be helpful to patients," said Dr. Susan Spratt of the Duke University Medical Center. "When you improve medication adherence, you actually lower healthcare costs because patients don't end up in the ER or the hospital."

She added that individuals with type 2 diabetes often have to take up to six different pills each day. Combining the blood sugar and cholesterol regulating medications in one could help limit this challenge.