News Updates: Getting To The Bottom Of Diabetes Management

Even as us diabetics suffer from a cramped lifestyle more than anything else, there comes news of esoteric research that brings good cheer to our sullen lot.

One such item caught my eye in the Times of India today. It seems that big bottom is good for you because it raises the levels of good cholesterol that protects against hardening of arteries and also cuts the risk of diabetes.

The IANS report said scientists also claim that people with lots of moles are years younger biologically than those with mark-free skin. They may retain their youthful looks for longer and could also be at lower risk of a host of age-related diseases, such as heart disease or osteoporosis.

One of the studies shows having a generous rear end rather than a pot belly, cuts levels of bad cholesterol and raises levels of good cholesterol that protects against hardening of arteries and also cuts the risk of diabetes.

Studies have also linked short legs to higher levels of liver and heart disease and diabetes.

Good news is also for those who store fat on the lower half of their body as chunky thighs prolong life.

So there you are. While thin people like me have much to gain in our diabetes management, our well endowed friends can raise a toast to breakthough research that may make our lives less miserable.

# I have been reporting tainted killer diabetes drug Avandi which was been put on watch after a series of damning studies that made two US Senators publish a highly critical report on Avandia. A Food and Drug Administration advisory panel will consider possible further restrictions on the drug next month.

Meanwhile, Reuters reported that pharma giant GlaxoSmithKline Plc has settled thousands more lawsuits brought by patients alleging its Avandia diabetes drug caused heart attacks, in a move that may defuse potentially massive claims over the medicine.

A company spokeswoman said on Tuesday that consolidated cases which had been due to come to court in Philadelphia this month had been settled. She declined to give further details and said the terms remained confidential.

The first product liability case involving Avandia will now go to court in the United States in October, she added.

The move follows the separate settlement of some 700 cases last month for about $60 million.

Analysts estimate Glaxo had faced a total of 13,000 claims for damages involving Avandia, of which around 5,000 were consolidated in Philadelphia, and there had been fears it could face damages of up to $6 billion.

However, last month’s relative modest settlement deal and the latest settlement in Philadelphia suggests the amount paid out by the British-based drugmaker is likely to be a lot lower.

“This implies that close to half of the cases have now been settled and should ease some fears about Vioxx-type liabilities,” said Deutsche Bank analyst Mark Clark.
He believes the cost is likely to be comfortably covered by the company’s 2 billion pounds ($2.9 billion) of litigation provisions.

And the total could be a lot less than that. Assuming the average pay-out rate of around $86,000 per claimant for the first 700 cases was applied to all 13,000, the amount would be just over $1.1 billion.

Merck & Co Inc agreed a $4.85 billion settlement with plaintiffs in 2007 after its arthritis pain drug Vioxx was pulled from the market in 2004.

Commercially, Avandia is no longer a major product for Glaxo, with sales declining sharply following controversy over the drug’s heart risks in 2007, and the medicine is set to lose exclusivity in the United States in 2012. But worries about liability claims have spiked up since February.

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