Drugmakers: Diabetes medicine Jardiance first to show prevention of heart complications, death

Associated Press

For the first time, there's evidence a drug reduces risk of complications that are the top killer of diabetes patients: heart attacks, strokes and other cardiovascular damage.

The makers of Jardiance — Eli Lilly and partner Boehringer Ingelheim — are releasing limited data from a 7,000-patient study indicating their year-old drug delayed the time until patients died of cardiovascular disease or suffered a heart attack or stroke.

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That's been a long elusive goal for diabetes patients and their doctors. While diabetes pills and insulin help control blood sugar levels and sometimes weight, none until now has been shown to reduce cardiovascular complications.

More details from the study are needed, but one analyst, Dr. Timothy Anderson at SanfordBernstein, on Thursday called the result a "holy grail of sorts."