A recently published study says that earlier metformin treatment in type 2 diabetes patients doesn’t appear to prevent cognitive decline.
The study was done because previous research hinted that metformin treatment may lower dementia risk.
“Results do not support initiating metformin earlier to prevent cognitive decline and, thus, may dampen enthusiasm for metformin as a potential antidementia drug,” the study’s abstract said.
The study examined the electronic health records from 112,845 patients at the Veteran Health Affairs and 14,333 patients at Kaiser Permanente Washington. The patients were at least 50 years old, had a hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) between 6.5 and <9.5mg/dL and had no history of dementia or fills for antidiabetic medications before entering into the study.
The researchers found “no association between initiation of metformin (vs no initial treatment) and incident dementia.” The results did not differ based on patient race, baseline HbA1c or race.
In other metformin news, a class action lawsuit was recently filed by a Delaware health insurance company against Aurobindo Pharma, the manufacturer of metformin, and others. The lawsuit seeks to recover damages for “contaminated and adulterated metformin drugs.”
The plaintiff is seeking to represent other healthcare insurers who had to pay most of the charges defendants charged for medications containing metformin. Some of the medications were later found to be contaminated by N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), which the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the International Agency for Research on Cancer classify as a probable carcinogen. Scientists sometimes give rats NDMA to give them cancer. The scientists then study the cancer that the NDMA causes.
Singapore’s Health Sciences Authority announced in December 2019 that they found NDMA in three drugs containing metformin. The FDA then said that lab testing found NDMA in some medications containing metformin. Testing lab Valisure then tested 38 batches of metformin in response. They found that 16 batches contained more NDMA than the FDA’s daily acceptable intake limit of 96 nanograms. Several of the batches had over 10 times the intake limit. Valisure then sent the FDA a citizen petition asking them to recall contaminated batches.
Plaintiffs in the lawsuit claim the defendants failed to follow good manufacturing practices while making metformin. Valisure’s citizen petition contains pharmacy leaders saying that NDMA’s presence in metformin “may be primarily due to contamination during manufacturing.”
The plaintiffs are accusing the defendants of unjust enrichment, fraud/negligent misrepresentation, breach of warranties and more, and are seeking financial recovery.