Merck Re-launches Diabetes Drugs in Nigeria


Mary Ekah

To further emphasise the presence of the world’s leading manufacturer of pharmaceutical products in the country, Merck, a leading science and technology company in healthcare, life science and performance materials, recently re-launched its type 2 diabetes drugs, Glucovance and Glucophage in Nigeria.

The event chaired by Prof. Adesoji Fasanmade, Head of Department, Department of Medicine (Endocrinology Unit) University College Hospital, Ibadan, was attended by leading physicians, resident doctors, as well as international consultants, amongst other notable healthcare specialists.

The General Manager, Merck Nigeria, Mr. Charles Ajibo emphasised that the re-launch of the products, Glucophage and Glucovance, which had hitherto existed and was being distributed by agents in Nigeria was to emphasise the presence of the world’s leading healthcare product manufacturing firm in Nigeria. “Prior to 2014, Merck was represented in Nigeria by agents, so all products of Merck are in Nigeria, but we are now present in Nigeria as Merck, so we are re – launching our brands in order to re-establish the priorities to our country that these good, trusted and very verifiable products are still here in Nigeria.” He said. He explained further that Glucophage, by 2017, would clock 60 years of existence. According to him, the drug has stood the test of time all over the world.

Also speaking at the event, Dr. Henry Onyegbutulem, a Chief consultant Physician, who works with the Asokoro General Hospital, Abuja, was full of eulogies for the drug, Glucovance, which he described as composed of components modified through modern technology to improve on the previous one, and that makes it unique for use by diabetic patients. “I have used Glucovance for some time now and found it very useful in my patients due to the technology put in to bring this monitoring. The coming of Glucovance has made it very easy for our patients. The reason why some patients are afraid of medication is due to the pill body which is overwhelming, a major reason why they give up, but with Glucovance you have a hybrid combo drug which reduces that pill body of medication and makes it easy for patients to take,” he noted.

Glucovance contains a combination of glyburide and metformin. Glyburide and metformin are both oral diabetes medicines that help control blood sugar levels.

This combination medication is used with a proper diet and exercise programme to control high blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes. It may also be used with other diabetes medications.

Glyburide, which belongs to the class of drugs known as sulfonylureas, lowers blood sugar by causing the release of the body’s natural insulin and by decreasing the amount of sugar that the liver makes. Metformin works by decreasing the amount of sugar that the liver makes and what the stomach/intestines absorb. Both of these medications work by helping to restore the body’s proper response to the insulin you naturally produce. Glucovance is used to treat type 2 diabetes.

Dr. Harry Howlet, a diabetes specialist, and an independent consultant at the United Kingdom-based University of St. Andrews delivered a very concise and detailed presentation on the prevention and management of diabetes complications, and also highlighting compelling evidence and benefits on the use of Glucovance in type2 diabetes management’s advantage over other SU’s.