Last Updated Jul 7, 2009 10:41 AM EDT
The largest German study found a difference of roughly one extra cancer diagnosed for every 100 people taking Lantus compared with those on human insulin.But, just like the stock, new prescriptions are down:
... total U.S. prescription volume for Lantus, Sanofi-Aventis SA's (SNY) diabetes drug, inched up 2% last week versus the week before, but new prescriptions were down 3.8%, according to a drug-data provider.Despite the fact that the studies on Lantus and cancer are confusing at best, Novo Nordisk rushed out a press release with the word "cancer" in the first sentence. It added:
To avoid unnecessary speculation about whether Novo Nordisk insulin analogues may be associated with an increased risk of cancer, the company wishes to highlight the following ...Yes, Novo, thank you for avoiding unnecessary speculation about Lantus and cancer with your press release highlighting the unneccessary speculation over Lantus and cancer.
That pile-on came as Amylin and Eli Lilly alerted the media that there was nothing improper about a doc on their payroll hyping the study on a conference call.
Over on CafePharma, reps from Sanofi and Novo are in a heated war with each other. The Novo folk seem happy that the news cycle has given them a break; while the Sanofites are grateful that the headlines were eclipsed by Michael Jackson's death:
I have been calling on about 15 providers/day getting this information out and not one of them is concerned. PS. People who have a high school education will not be reading the wall street journal tomorrow. They will be tuning in to Michael Jacksons funeral. We have NOTHING to worry about!