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First diabetes-cholesterol combo drug will launch soon (Morning Read)

Current medical news from today including Merck’s diabetes-high cholesterol drug wins FDA approval, pharma and medical device industries lobby for free-trade legislation, and panel sparks debate about PSA testing for prostate cancer.

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Diabetes-cholesterol combo drug approved. Merck’s combination drug for diabetes and high cholesterol — the first of its kind — won approval from the FDA on Friday.

The benefits of Juvisync, which combines type 2 diabetes pill Januvia with cholesterol drug Zocor, are obvious: fewer pills, more convenience and less money. The combo will sell for $215 a month, which is about the price of Januvia alone. With many of the 25 million Americans with diabetes also having high cholesterol, Juvisync is a probable blockbuster.

Healthcare in Washington. Congress this week will vote on pieces of free-trade legislation for South Korea, Colombia and Panama that the pharmaceutical and medical device industries have been lobbying for. Under the bill, South Korea would eliminate tariffs on American medicines and medical devices over a period of time.

Detecting prostate cancer turns into its own battle. The debate about the efficacy of the PSA blood test for prostate cancer is heating up. Last week, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommended that men not undergo PSA screenings regularly, since the test returns so many false positives that can lead to unnecessary treatment and side effects, like impotence and incontinence. Cancer groups are rallying back, campaigning that the recommendation was misguided.

How to know when you need a CEO. Bringing experienced management is a crucial step for any startup, but how do you when when’s the right time? Here are some tips from the mouths of venture capitalists.

What happens to healthcare reform after the 2012 election? As Obama’s poll numbers have fallen, opponents of his healthcare plan have been considering repeal strategies. Here’s a look at some different healthcare reform scenarios that could result from the outcome of the 2012 elections.