Improving glycaemic control for people with diabetes can be a convenient, once-a-day routine with the launch of JANUMET® XR tablets in Malaysia. Developed by MSD, one of the leading healthcare companies in Malaysia, JANUMET® XR is an oral type 2 diabetes medication that combines sitagliptin phosphate with extended-release metformin hydrocloride (HCl).
I was present at KL Hilton to cover this launch event of JANUMET® XR officiated by Prof Chan Siew Pheng and Dr Zanariah Hussein. The event lasted for about 3 hours which ended with a short Q & A session between the media and doctors.
The growing incidence of diabetes represents a major public health challenge in Malaysia. Diabetes is a chronic and progressive disease that affects approximately 1.9 million people in Malaysia and 382 million people worldwide. At least 90% of all cases are type 2 diabetes in which the body is able to produce insulin but either this is not sufficient or the body is unable to respond to its effects (also known as insulin resistance), leading to a build-up of glucose in the blood.
The risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes include obesity, advancing age, family history of diabetes, ethnicity, high blood glucose during pregnancy affecting unborn child, excess body weight and physical inactivity. The National and Health Morbidity Survey in 2011 (NHMS 2011) reported the national prevalence of diabetes in Malaysia as 15.2%. The increasing prevalence of diabetes is attributed to increased urbanization which is often associated with sedentary lifestyles and increased obesity.
“As Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) is a chronic and progressive disease, many people with diabetes will eventually require multiple medications to help control their blood sugar. Fixed-dose combination therapy will help to reduce pill burden and improve compliance,” said Prof Chan Siew Pheng, Senior Consultant Endocrinologist, at the official launch event of Janumet® XR held earlier today.
The approval of JANUMET® XR in Malaysia offers a convenient once-daily treatment option for appropriate patients who need help to improve their blood sugar level. JANUMET® XR targets three key defects of type 2 diabetes: insulin deficiency from pancreatic beta cells, insulin resistance, and overproduction of glucose by the liver. JANUMET® XR combines two medicines, sitagliptin phosphate and metformin HCI extended-release, each with demonstrated ability to improve blood sugar control without increasing the risk of hypoglycaemia.
According to Dr Zanariah Hussein, Senior Consultant Endocrinologist, who was also present during the launch event, people with diabetes will suffer from various complications such as heart disease and stroke, vision loss and blindness, kidney failure and lower limb amputation if left untreated.
“Managing type 2 Diabetes such as making healthy food choices, regular exercise, taking diabetes medicines exactly as doctor prescribes and monitoring blood sugar are essential steps that will keep your blood sugar level closer to normal, which can delay or prevent complications,” said Dr Zanariah. Failure to control one’s sugar level may result in hypo or hyper-glycaemia, each scenario presenting diabetes patient with life-threatening complications.