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FDA Approves First Diabetes-Cholesterol Combo Pill

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Food and Drug Administration has approved a Merck drug as the first combination pill for patients with diabetes who also have high cholesterol.

Patients with both diabetes and high cholesterol are at increased risk for heart disease, stroke, kidney disease and other chronic conditions.

The drug Juvisync combines Merck's diabetes pill Januvia with the popular cholesterol drug Zocor.

The American Diabetes Association recommends all people with diabetes over 40 take a cholesterol-lowering drug, known as a statin. But Merck scientists say many as 4 million diabetes patients in the U.S. are not following that recommendation.

About 20 million people in the U.S. have type 2 diabetes, which prevents them from properly breaking down carbohydrates. Patients with the condition are at a higher risk of a number of complications.

Copyright 2011 The Associated

Posted: October 2011