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`GSK drug may cut risk of developing diabetes'

Our Bureau

New Delhi , Sept. 18

The use of rosiglitazone medicine may reduce the risk of developing diabetes. In a result of a clinical trial discussed on Monday, the use of the medicine reduced the risk of developing diabetes by 62 per cent compared to a placebo among 5,269 people at risk of developing the disease.

This reduction was in addition to counselling on healthy eating and exercise. The DREAM (Diabetes Reduction Assessment with ramipril and rosiglitazone Medication) trial, conducted by Population Health Research Institute at McMaster University of Canada, evaluated the likelihood of progression to diabetes from pre-diabetes stage over a three-year period.

Rosiglitazone is manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) that is also one of the companies that funded the trials. GSK markets the medicine by the `Windia' brand in India.

Six centres from India participated in the trial. Although the initial results of the trial favour the use of rosiglitazone for the treatment of the disease, some more results are awaited from it.

Dr V. Mohan, Chairman, Dr Mohan's Diabetes Specialities Centre, one of the participating clinics, said, "We do not know as yet if the medicine actually treats the disease or only masks it. The subjects will now be kept away from medication for three months under the ongoing study to find this out."

Results of this trial were presented last Friday at the 42nd Annual Meeting of the European Association for the study of diabetes and published in the Lancet journal.

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