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Vitamin D

Big Pharma looks to capitalize on success of vitamin D by turning it into a 'drug' for kidney disease

Sunday, July 31, 2011 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer
Tags: vitamin D, kidney disease, health news

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(NaturalNews) With an incredible success rate for vitamin D in treating a myriad of health conditions, it is no wonder that some drug companies are looking for new ways to capitalize on this natural, inexpensive nutrient.

Biopharmaceutical giant Rockwell Medical recently announced that it has acquired a US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA) for a generic, injectable form of vitamin D called Calcitriol, that it openly refers to as a "drug."

Marketed under several brand names including Rocaltrol (Roche), Calcijex (Abbott), and Decostriol (Mibe, Jesalis), Calcitriol is really nothing more than vitamin D3, or 1,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol, that has been placed in a syringe with sterile fluids and other additives. And yet Rockwell Medical, as well as various medical information sources, refer to Calicitriol as a "drug," which is why Rockwell Medical obtained an ANDA in the first place.

Calcitriol is marketed as a treatment for secondary hyperparathyroidism in patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD), and is said to be a highly active, if not the most active, form of vitamin D in the body. Its high potency makes it very beneficial not only in the treatment of kidney disease, but also in the treatment and prevention of numerous other conditions including bone disease and cancer (http://naturalnews.com/vitamin_d.html).

And while it is great that vitamin D is being promoted as useful in the treatment of disease, the terms under which it is being promoted within the drug industry are disconcerting. Vitamin D is not a drug, and yet drug companies are treating it as such, and putting it through the same drug application process that they would any of their other synthetic drug offerings.

Based on current trends, it will likely not be long before Big Pharma attempts to patent and control numerous other forms of vitamin D as well as Calcitriol, which is why it is important to use and support only the supplement varieties of vitamin D, rather than "drug" varieties.

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