Merck Sharp & Dohme have obtained TGA registration for a new combination of medicines, sitagliptin 100mg combined with simvastatin 10mg, 20mg, or 40mg under two brand names, JUVICOR and TESOZOR. They are for adults with Type 2 Diabetes mellitus and hypercholesterolaemia in whom treatment with both sitagliptin and simvastatin are indicated.
Best practice has traditionally demanded that each drug should be individually managed for both indication and dosage, however experience has shown that patient compliance declines when prescribed “too many” items, or when the costs escalate, and improves with a simpler regimen.
Merck have already combined simvastatin with exetimibe in their portfolio of combination products subsidised by the PBS. i.e.:-
- alendronate + colecalciferol (+/-) calcium carbonate
- dorzolamide + timolol eye drops
- enalapril maleate + hydrochlorothiazide
- olmesartan medoxomil + amlodipine
- olmesartan medoxomil + hydrochlorothiazide
- peginterferon alfa-2b + ribavirin
- sitagliptin + metformin hydrochloride 1g
All these products are for essentially common indications. This new combination explores a more holistic management of diabetic patients, by recognising the improved outcomes of reducing cholesterol, and cardiovascular risk with combination therapy.
Hopefully combination packaging will not only halve the outlay for the patient, but also save the taxpayer.