Five things for pharma marketers to know: Tuesday, December 8, 2015

1. Certain insulins are similarly effective in reducing blood sugar but differ in their ability to lower a patient's weight and HbA1c levels. The study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, compared three marketed GLP-1 receptor agonists—Eli Lilly's Trulicity, AstraZeneca's Bydureon and GlaxoSmithKline's Tanzeum—and one in the development phase, Ipsen's and Roche's taspoglutide. (Reuters)

2. Public Citizen is taking aim at a provision the 21st Century Cures Act that would allow drugmakers to gain additional exclusivity for drugs approved with new indications for rare or orphan diseases. The provision could add $12 billion in additional costs over the next decade. (Public Citizen)

3. The FDA approved Kanuma (sebelipase alfa), the first therapy that treats patients with a rare disease called lysosomal acid lipase deficiency. Patients rarely live longer than one year because the body fails to create enough of an enzyme that breaks down fatty material. The drug was developed by Alexion Pharmaceuticals, which also developed Soliris to treat an orphan disease.

4. One-third of American adults with high LDL levels should take cholesterol-lowering drugs but about half of them do not. Side effects may be one reason that patients may not start or maintain statin treatment. (Reuters)

5. Men with prostate cancer who take testosterone-blocking drugs, which are known as androgen-deprivation therapies, have twice of the risk of getting Alzheimer's disease, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. Men taking these drugs also have higher risks of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and high cholesterol, among other conditions. (WSJ)

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly described the insulins as long-acting. They are GLP-1 receptor agonists.