There were 456 press releases posted in the last 24 hours and 172,222 in the last 365 days.

Merck Receives Complete Response Letter from the U.S. FDA for TECOS Study with Sitagliptin

KENILWORTH, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Merck (NYSE:MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a Complete Response Letter regarding Merck’s Supplemental New Drug Applications for JANUVIA® (sitagliptin), JANUMET® (sitagliptin and metformin HCl) and JANUMET XR® (sitagliptin and metformin HCl extended-release). With these applications, Merck is seeking to include data from TECOS (Trial Evaluating Cardiovascular Outcomes with Sitagliptin) in the prescribing information of sitagliptin-containing medicines. Merck is reviewing the letter and will discuss next steps with the FDA.

Important Information about JANUVIA ® (sitagliptin) 25 mg, 50 mg and 100 mg tablets

JANUVIA is indicated as an adjunct to diet and exercise to improve glycemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus.

JANUVIA should not be used in patients with type 1 diabetes or for the treatment of diabetic ketoacidosis.

JANUVIA has not been studied in patients with a history of pancreatitis. It is unknown whether patients with a history of pancreatitis are at increased risk of developing pancreatitis while taking JANUVIA.

Selected Important Risk Information about JANUVIA ®

JANUVIA is contraindicated in patients with a history of a serious hypersensitivity reaction to sitagliptin, such as anaphylaxis or angioedema.

There have been postmarketing reports of acute pancreatitis, including fatal and nonfatal hemorrhagic or necrotizing pancreatitis, in patients taking JANUVIA. After initiating JANUVIA, observe patients carefully for signs and symptoms of pancreatitis. If pancreatitis is suspected, promptly discontinue JANUVIA and initiate appropriate management. It is unknown whether patients with a history of pancreatitis are at increased risk of developing pancreatitis while taking JANUVIA.

Assessment of renal function is recommended prior to initiating JANUVIA and periodically thereafter. A dosage adjustment is recommended in patients with moderate or severe renal insufficiency and in patients with end-stage renal disease requiring hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis. Caution should be used to ensure that the correct dose of JANUVIA is prescribed.

There have been postmarketing reports of worsening renal function, including acute renal failure, sometimes requiring dialysis. A subset of these reports involved patients with renal insufficiency, some of whom were prescribed inappropriate doses of sitagliptin.

When JANUVIA was used in combination with a sulfonylurea or insulin, medications known to cause hypoglycemia, the incidence of hypoglycemia was increased over that of placebo. Therefore, a lower dose of sulfonylurea or insulin may be required to reduce the risk of hypoglycemia.

The incidence (and rate) of hypoglycemia based on all reports of symptomatic hypoglycemia were: 12.2% (0.59 episodes/patient-year) for JANUVIA 100 mg in combination with glimepiride (with or without metformin), 1.8% (0.24 episodes/patient-year) for placebo in combination with glimepiride (with or without metformin), 15.5% (1.06 episodes/patient-year) for JANUVIA 100 mg in combination with insulin (with or without metformin), and 7.8% (0.51 episodes/patient-year) for placebo in combination with insulin (with or without metformin).

There have been postmarketing reports of serious hypersensitivity reactions in patients treated with JANUVIA, such as anaphylaxis, angioedema, and exfoliative skin conditions including Stevens-Johnson syndrome. Onset of these reactions occurred within the first 3 months after initiation of treatment with JANUVIA, with some reports occurring after the first dose. If a hypersensitivity reaction is suspected, discontinue JANUVIA, assess for other potential causes for the event, and institute alternative treatment for diabetes.

Angioedema has also been reported with other dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors. Use caution in a patient with a history of angioedema with another DPP-4 inhibitor because it is unknown whether such patients will be predisposed to angioedema with JANUVIA.

There have been postmarketing reports of severe and disabling arthralgia in patients taking DPP-4 inhibitors. The time to onset of symptoms following initiation of drug therapy varied from 1 day to years. Patients experienced relief of symptoms upon discontinuation of the medication. A subset of patients experienced a recurrence of symptoms when restarting the same drug or a different DPP-4 inhibitor. Consider DPP-4 inhibitors as a possible cause for severe joint pain and discontinue drug if appropriate.

Postmarketing cases of bullous pemphigoid requiring hospitalization have been reported with DPP-4 inhibitor use. In reported cases, patients typically recovered with topical or systemic immunosuppressive treatment and discontinuation of the DPP-4 inhibitor. Tell patients to report development of blisters or erosions while receiving JANUVIA. If bullous pemphigoid is suspected, JANUVIA should be discontinued and referral to a dermatologist should be considered for diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

There have been no clinical studies establishing conclusive evidence of macrovascular risk reduction with JANUVIA or with any other antidiabetic drug.

In clinical studies, the adverse reactions reported, regardless of investigator assessment of causality, in ≥5% of patients treated with JANUVIA as monotherapy and in combination therapy and more commonly than in patients treated with placebo, were upper respiratory tract infection, nasopharyngitis, and headache.

Important Information about JANUMET ® (sitagliptin and metformin HCl) 50/500 mg and 50/1000 mg tablets and JANUMET ® XR (sitagliptin and metformin HCl extended-release) 50/500 mg, 500/1000 mg and 100/1000 mg tablets

JANUMET is indicated, as an adjunct to diet and exercise, to improve glycemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus when treatment with both sitagliptin and metformin is appropriate.

JANUMET XR is indicated, as an adjunct to diet and exercise, to improve glycemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus when treatment with both sitagliptin and metformin extended-release is appropriate.

JANUMET or JANUMET XR should not be used in patients with type 1 diabetes or for the treatment of diabetic ketoacidosis.

JANUMET or JANUMET XR has not been studied in patients with a history of pancreatitis. It is unknown whether patients with a history of pancreatitis are at increased risk of developing pancreatitis while taking JANUMET or JANUMET XR.

Selected Important Risk Information about JANUMET ® and JANUMET ® XR

WARNING: LACTIC ACIDOSIS

Postmarketing cases of metformin-associated lactic acidosis have resulted in death, hypothermia, hypotension, and resistant bradyarrhythmias. The onset of metformin-associated lactic acidosis is often subtle, accompanied only by nonspecific symptoms such as malaise, myalgias, respiratory distress, somnolence, and abdominal pain. Metformin-associated lactic acidosis was characterized by elevated blood lactate levels (>5 mmol/Liter), anion gap acidosis (without evidence of ketonuria or ketonemia), an increased lactate/pyruvate ratio, and metformin plasma levels generally >5 mcg/mL.

Risk factors for metformin-associated lactic acidosis include renal impairment, concomitant use of certain drugs (e.g., carbonic anhydrase inhibitors such as topiramate), age 65 years old or greater, having a radiological study with contrast, surgery and other procedures, hypoxic states (e.g., acute congestive heart failure), excessive alcohol intake, and hepatic impairment.

If metformin-associated lactic acidosis is suspected, immediately discontinue JANUMET or JANUMET XR and institute general supportive measures in a hospital setting. Prompt hemodialysis is recommended.

JANUMET and JANUMET XR are contraindicated in patients with severe renal impairment (estimated glomerular filtration rate [eGFR] below 30 mL/min/1.73 m2); hypersensitivity to metformin hydrochloride; acute or chronic metabolic acidosis, including diabetic ketoacidosis; or history of a serious hypersensitivity reaction to JANUMET, JANUMET XR, or sitagliptin, such as anaphylaxis or angioedema.

Postmarketing metformin-associated lactic acidosis cases primarily occurred in patients with significant renal impairment. The risk of metformin accumulation and metformin-associated lactic acidosis increases with the severity of renal impairment because metformin is substantially excreted by the kidney.

JANUMET: Before initiating JANUMET, obtain an eGFR. JANUMET is contraindicated in patients with an eGFR below 30 mL/min/1.73 m2. JANUMET is not recommended in patients with an eGFR between 30 and <45 mL/min/1.73 m2 because these patients require a lower dosage of sitagliptin than what is available in the fixed combination product of JANUMET. Obtain an eGFR at least annually in all patients taking JANUMET. In patients at increased risk for the development of renal impairment (e.g., the elderly), renal function should be assessed more frequently.

JANUMET XR: Before initiating JANUMET XR, obtain an eGFR. JANUMET XR is contraindicated in patients with an eGFR less than 30 mL/min/1.73 m2. Discontinue JANUMET XR if the patient’s eGFR later falls below 30 mL/min/1.73 m2. Initiation of JANUMET XR is not recommended in patients with an eGFR between 30 and 45 mL/min/1.73 m2. In patients taking JANUMET XR whose eGFR later falls below 45 mL/min/1.73 m2, assess the benefit and risk of continuing therapy. Obtain an eGFR at least annually in all patients taking JANUMET XR. In patients at increased risk for the development of renal impairment (e.g., the elderly), renal function should be assessed more frequently.

The concomitant use of JANUMET or JANUMET XR with specific drugs may increase the risk of metformin-associated lactic acidosis: those that impair renal function, result in significant hemodynamic change, interfere with acid-base balance, or increase metformin accumulation. Consider more frequent monitoring of patients.

The risk of metformin-associated lactic acidosis increases with the patient’s age because elderly patients have a greater likelihood of having hepatic, renal, or cardiac impairment than younger patients. Assess renal function more frequently in elderly patients.

Administration of intravascular iodinated contrast agents in metformin-treated patients has led to an acute decrease in renal function and the occurrence of lactic acidosis. Stop JANUMET or JANUMET XR at the time of, or prior to, an iodinated contrast imaging procedure in patients with an eGFR between 30 and 60 mL/min/1.73 m2; in patients with a history of hepatic impairment, alcoholism, or heart failure; or in patients who will be administered intra-arterial iodinated contrast. Re-evaluate eGFR 48 hours after the imaging procedure; restart JANUMET or JANUMET XR if renal function is stable.

Withholding of food and fluids during surgical or other procedures may increase the risk for volume depletion, hypotension, and renal impairment. JANUMET or JANUMET XR should be temporarily discontinued while patients have restricted food and fluid intake.

Postmarketing cases of metformin-associated lactic acidosis have occurred in the setting of acute congestive heart failure (particularly when accompanied by hypoperfusion and hypoxemia). Cardiovascular collapse (shock), acute myocardial infarction, sepsis, and other conditions associated with hypoxemia have been associated with lactic acidosis and may also cause prerenal azotemia. Discontinue JANUMET or JANUMET XR if this occurs.

Alcohol potentiates the effect of metformin on lactate metabolism and this may increase the risk of metformin-associated lactic acidosis. Warn patients against excessive alcohol intake while receiving JANUMET or JANUMET XR.

Patients with hepatic impairment have developed metformin-associated lactic acidosis. This may be due to impaired lactate clearance resulting in higher lactate blood levels. Avoid using JANUMET or JANUMET XR in patients with clinical or laboratory evidence of hepatic disease.

There have been postmarketing reports of acute pancreatitis, including fatal and nonfatal hemorrhagic or necrotizing pancreatitis, in patients taking sitagliptin with or without metformin. After initiating JANUMET or JANUMET XR, observe patients carefully for signs and symptoms of pancreatitis. If pancreatitis is suspected, promptly discontinue JANUMET or JANUMET XR and initiate appropriate management. It is unknown whether patients with a history of pancreatitis are at increased risk of developing pancreatitis while taking JANUMET or JANUMET XR.

There have been postmarketing reports of worsening renal function in patients taking sitagliptin with or without metformin, including acute renal failure, sometimes requiring dialysis. Before initiating JANUMET or JANUMET XR and at least annually thereafter, renal function should be assessed. In patients in whom development of renal dysfunction is anticipated, particularly in elderly patients, renal function should be assessed more frequently and JANUMET or JANUMET XR discontinued if evidence of renal impairment is present.

Use With Medications Known to Cause Hypoglycemia

Sitagliptin

When sitagliptin was used in combination with a sulfonylurea or insulin, medications known to cause hypoglycemia, the incidence of hypoglycemia was increased over that of placebo used in combination with a sulfonylurea or insulin. Patients also receiving insulin or an insulin secretagogue (e.g., sulfonylurea) may require a lower dose of insulin or the insulin secretagogue to reduce the risk of hypoglycemia.

The incidence (and rate) of hypoglycemia based on all reports of symptomatic hypoglycemia were: 16.4% (0.82 episodes/patient-year) for sitagliptin 100 mg in combination with metformin and glimepiride, 0.9% (0.02 episodes/patient-year) for placebo in combination with metformin and glimepiride, 8.2% (0.61 episodes/patient-year) for placebo in combination with metformin and insulin, and 15.3% (0.98 episodes/patient-year) for sitagliptin in combination with metformin and insulin.

Metformin hydrochloride

Hypoglycemia does not occur in patients receiving metformin alone under usual circumstances of use, but could occur when caloric intake is deficient, when strenuous exercise is not compensated by caloric supplementation, or during concomitant use with other glucose-lowering agents (such as sulfonylureas and insulin) or ethanol. Elderly, debilitated, or malnourished patients and those with adrenal or pituitary insufficiency or alcohol intoxication are particularly susceptible to hypoglycemic effects.

There have been postmarketing reports of serious hypersensitivity reactions in patients treated with sitagliptin, one of the components of JANUMET and JANUMET XR, such as anaphylaxis, angioedema, and exfoliative skin conditions including Stevens-Johnson syndrome. Onset of these reactions occurred within the first 3 months after initiating sitagliptin, with some reports occurring after the first dose. If a hypersensitivity reaction is suspected, discontinue JANUMET or JANUMET XR, assess for other potential causes for the event, and institute alternative diabetes treatment.

Angioedema has also been reported with other dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors. Use caution in a patient with a history of angioedema to another DPP-4 inhibitor because it is unknown whether such patients will be predisposed to angioedema with JANUMET or JANUMET XR.

There have been postmarketing reports of severe and disabling arthralgia in patients taking DPP-4 inhibitors. The time to onset of symptoms following initiation of drug therapy varied from 1 day to years. Patients experienced relief of symptoms upon discontinuation of the medication. A subset of patients experienced a recurrence of symptoms when restarting the same drug or a different DPP-4 inhibitor. Consider DPP-4 inhibitors as a possible cause for severe joint pain and discontinue drug if appropriate.

Postmarketing cases of bullous pemphigoid requiring hospitalization have been reported with DPP-4 inhibitor use. In reported cases, patients typically recovered with topical or systemic immunosuppressive treatment and discontinuation of the DPP-4 inhibitor. Tell patients to report development of blisters or erosions while receiving JANUMET or JANUMET XR. If bullous pemphigoid is suspected, JANUMET or JANUMET XR should be discontinued and referral to a dermatologist should be considered for diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

There have been no clinical studies establishing conclusive evidence of macrovascular risk reduction with JANUMET or JANUMET XR or any other antidiabetic drug.

In clinical studies, the most common adverse reactions reported, regardless of investigator assessment of causality, in ≥5% of patients treated with either sitagliptin in combination with metformin or placebo were as follows: diarrhea (7.5% vs 4.0%), upper respiratory tract infection (6.2% vs 5.1%), and headache (5.9% vs 2.8%). In patients treated with sitagliptin in combination with metformin and sulfonylurea or placebo in combination with metformin and sulfonylurea: hypoglycemia (16.4% vs 0.9%) and headache (6.9% vs 2.7%). In patients treated with sitagliptin in combination with metformin and insulin or placebo in combination with metformin and insulin: hypoglycemia (15.3% vs 8.2%). Other adverse events with an incidence of ≥5% included: nasopharyngitis for sitagliptin monotherapy; and hypoglycemia (13.7% vs 4.9%), diarrhea (12.5% vs 5.6%), and nausea (6.7% vs 4.2%) for extended-release metformin vs placebo when added to glyburide. Other adverse events with an incidence of ≥5% included diarrhea, nausea/vomiting, flatulence, abdominal discomfort, indigestion, asthenia, and headache for metformin immediate release.

Adverse reactions with sitagliptin in combination with metformin and rosiglitazone through Week 18 were: upper respiratory tract infection (sitagliptin, 5.5%; placebo, 5.2%) and nasopharyngitis (6.1%, 4.1%). Through Week 54 they were: upper respiratory tract infection (sitagliptin, 15.5%; placebo, 6.2%), nasopharyngitis (11.0%, 9.3%), peripheral edema (8.3%, 5.2%), and headache (5.5%, 4.1%).

About Merck

For over a century, Merck has been a global health care leader working to help the world be well. Merck is known as MSD outside the United States and Canada. Through our prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, and animal health products, we work with customers and operate in more than 140 countries to deliver innovative health solutions. We also demonstrate our commitment to increasing access to health care through far-reaching policies, programs and partnerships. For more information, visit www.merck.com and connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn.

Forward-Looking Statement of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., USA

This news release of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., USA (the “company”) includes “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of the company’s management and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. If underlying assumptions prove inaccurate or risks or uncertainties materialize, actual results may differ materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements.

Risks and uncertainties include but are not limited to, general industry conditions and competition; general economic factors, including interest rate and currency exchange rate fluctuations; the impact of pharmaceutical industry regulation and health care legislation in the United States and internationally; global trends toward health care cost containment; technological advances, new products and patents attained by competitors; challenges inherent in new product development, including obtaining regulatory approval; the company’s ability to accurately predict future market conditions; manufacturing difficulties or delays; financial instability of international economies and sovereign risk; dependence on the effectiveness of the company’s patents and other protections for innovative products; and the exposure to litigation, including patent litigation, and/or regulatory actions.

The company undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Additional factors that could cause results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements can be found in the company’s 2016 Annual Report on Form 10-K and the company’s other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) available at the SEC’s Internet site (www.sec.gov).

Please see Prescribing Information for JANUVIA ® (sitagliptin) at http://www.merck.com/product/usa/pi_circulars/j/januvia/januvia_pi.pdf and Medication Guide for JANUVIA at http://www.merck.com/product/usa/pi_circulars/j/januvia/januvia_mg.pdf

Please see Prescribing Information for JANUMET ® (sitagliptin and metformin HCl), including the Boxed Warning about lactic acidosis, at http://www.merck.com/product/usa/pi_circulars/j/janumet/janumet_pi.pdf and Medication Guide for JANUMET at http://www.merck.com/product/usa/pi_circulars/j/janumet/janumet_mg.pdf

Please see Prescribing Information for JANUMET XR ® (sitagliptin and metformin HCl extended-release), including the Boxed Warning about lactic acidosis, at http://www.merck.com/product/usa/pi_circulars/j/janumet_xr/janumet_xr_pi.pdf and Medication Guide for JANUMET XR at http://www.merck.com/product/usa/pi_circulars/j/janumet_xr/janumet_xr_mg.pdf

Distribution channels: Companies