Not for distribution to US Media
Issued – Wednesday 8th September 2004
New dosage strengths to provide increased dosing flexibility for managing type 2 diabetes
GlaxoSmithKline plc [LSE and NYSE: GSK] announced today that the European Commission has approved two new dosage strengths of AVANDAMET™ (rosiglitazone maleate and metformin HCl) – a treatment for type 2 diabetes that combines two important medications in one convenient pill. The new AVANDAMET dosages of 1 gram metformin combined with 2 mg or 4 mg rosiglitazone will soon be available to patients in the European Union.
"GlaxoSmithKline is pleased with the European Commission's approval today of the new AVANDAMET 1 gram tablets for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. These new dosages will offer greater dosing flexibility by providing a more comprehensive range of tablet strengths to the many type 2 diabetes patients who are currently taking AVANDAMET or AVANDIA plus metformin. The new AVANDAMET 1g formulation may also offer greater patient convenience by reducing the number of pills to be taken, potentially resulting in improved patient compliance," said Andrew Witty, President of GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals Europe.
"With traditional anti-diabetic agents, over 60 percent of patients do not reach recommended treatment goals for blood glucose levels, and this can lead to serious long-term complications," said Professor Stephan Matthaei, Director of the Diabetes and Metabolism Center, Quakenbruck Hospital. "These new dosage strengths of rosiglitazone and metformin in one pill will help clinicians give their type 2 diabetes patients a more convenient way of achieving better glycaemic control."
AVANDAMET is the first treatment that combines a thiazolidinedione - AVANDIA. (rosiglitazone maleate) - with a leading oral diabetes therapy - metformin - in one convenient pill. AVANDIA targets insulin resistance,1-4 an underlying cause of type 2 diabetes, whereas metformin works primarily by reducing the amount of blood sugar produced by the liver.5 Together, the two drugs help patients achieve enhanced glucose control compared to metformin alone.6 Good glucose control may help to reduce the risk of some long-term complications associated with type 2 diabetes.7 In addition, the combination of AVANDIA plus metformin has been shown to have a low risk of hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar),8 a side effect commonly seen with sulphonylureas.9
AVANDAMET was originally approved in the European Union in October 2003 for the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus, particularly in overweight patients, who are uncontrolled on their maximally tolerated dose of metformin alone. AVANDAMET is currently available in two tablet strengths of rosiglitazone/metformin: 1 mg/500 mg, 2 mg/500 mg.
Safety information for AVANDAMET includes:
A small number of people who have taken metformin, one of the components of AVANDAMET, have developed a serious yet rare condition called lactic acidosis (a build up of lactic acid in the blood). Lactic acidosis occurs most often in people with kidney problems and can be fatal in up to half of the lactic acidosis cases. In addition, rosiglitazone (the other component of AVANDAMET) may cause fluid retention, which could lead to or worsen heart failure. AVANDAMET is contraindicated in women who are breast feeding, patients with renal disease or renal dysfunction, patients with liver disease, and in patients with cardiac failure. AVANDAMET is also contraindicated for use with insulin in Europe. Before using AVANDAMET, elderly patients should have their renal function tested to assure that their kidney function is adequate.
Patients should inform their doctor if they drink alcohol excessively. Tests should be conducted before and while taking AVANDAMET to check for liver problems.
GlaxoSmithKline is one of the world's leading research-based pharmaceutical and health care companies. GlaxoSmithKline is committed to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer.
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1. Mayerson AB, Hundal RS, Dufour S, et al. The effects of rosiglitazone on insulin sensitivity, lipolysis, and hepatic and skeletal muscle triglyceride content in patients with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes 2002; 51:797-802.
2. Carey DG, Cowin GJ, Galloway GJ, et al. Rosiglitazone increases insulin sensitivity and reduces factors associated with insulin resistance in type 2 diabetics. Diabet Res Clin Prac 2000; 50(Suppl1):64-65.
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8. Cobitz et al. Benefits beyond glycaemia of adding rosiglitazone rather than a glibenclamide to metformin monotherapy in type 2 diabetes mellitus. Poster #835 presented at 18th International Diabetes Federation congress 2003.
9. Charbonnel B, Lonnqvist F, Jones NP, et al. Rosiglitazone is superior to glyburide in reducing fasting plasma glucose after one year of treatment in type 2 diabetic patients. Diabetes 1999; 48 (Suppl 1):A114-115.