Diachrome(R) Supplementation Associated with Potential Cost Savings of $52.9 Billion for People with Diabetes

PURCHASE, N.Y., Aug 31, 2005 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Nutrition 21, Inc. (NXXI) reported that an economic analysis conducted by researchers in the Department of Health Policy at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia shows that use of Diachrome(R), as a daily nutritional adjunct to traditional anti-diabetic medications, could deliver billions of dollars in healthcare cost savings. The analysis was published in the August 2005 issue of the peer-reviewed journal Disease Management and supported by a research grant from Nutrition 21.

The analysis estimates the potential cost savings that result from the decrease in HbA1C levels through the use of Diachrome, a patented formulation of chromium picolinate and biotin. Use of Diachrome showed a potential average three-year cost savings of up to $52.9 billion for patients already diagnosed with diabetes plus a lifetime cost savings at $42 billion for newly diagnosed patients each year.

"Controlling diabetes is important given the health and economic implications associated with the disease," said David B. Nash, MD, MBA, professor and chairman, Department of Health Policy at Thomas Jefferson University, who conducted the economic analysis. "Affordable complementary therapies, such as Diachrome, could make a substantial contribution to lessening the economic burden of diabetes for patients and payers."

Nutrition 21 expects to build on these findings initially through a strategic partnership with XL Health, a nationally recognized disease management firm managing chronically ill patients for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and private Medicare Advantage markets.

"This analysis and the recent FDA confirmation of chromium picolinate's safety are important cornerstones of our Diachrome marketing strategy, which is designed to demonstrate that cost savings and quality of care improvements can result with widespread adoption of Diachrome as an adjunct to traditional diabetes care," stated Gail Montgomery, president and CEO of Nutrition 21, Inc.

The first phase of the company's market rollout to select physicians and patients in Texas and Tennessee is planned for early 2006. The company is also planning to convene an expert panel in September to guide our expansion into other disease management companies.

According to the American Diabetes Association, there are 18.2 million people in the United States, or 6.3% of the population, who have diabetes. The economic impact of diabetes was estimated at $132 billion in 2002, including direct medical expenditures and the costs of lost productivity. From 1997 to 2002, the per capita annual cost of diabetes rose 30 percent.

Controlling HbA1C

Findings from the Diabetes Control and Complications trial, a ten year clinical trial conducted by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), indicate that a low cost intervention that decreases HbA1C could be beneficial to patients, third party payers and society as a whole.

Hemoglobin A1C (HbA1C) is a marker of glycemic (blood sugar) control. The higher the HbA1C value, the higher the risk that a patient will develop complications from diabetes. Reducing or keeping HbA1C levels in normal range (below 7%) is a key goal in diabetes management. Furthermore, improvement in glycemic control has been shown to be cost-effective in delaying the onset and progression of T2DM, including risk of serious complications such as heart disease, amputation and kidney failure. Experts estimate that for every percentage point decrease in HbA1C there is a 25% reduction in diabetes-related deaths.

Clinical studies using Diachrome have shown the greatest improvement in glycemic control in poorly controlled T2DM patients (HbA1C greater than or equal to 10%) as compared to their better controlled counterparts (HbA1C less than 10%) even when patients were already taking oral anti-diabetic agents.

About Diachrome

Diachrome, a nutritional supplement formulated for people with diabetes, contains 600 mcg of chromium as Chromax(R) chromium picolinate and 2 mg of biotin, a B-vitamin. Diachrome can be obtained through diabetes educators nationwide, or may be purchased directly at www.diachrome.com or 1-866-DIACHROME.

About Nutrition 21

Nutrition 21 is a nutritional bioscience company and the maker of chromium-based supplements with health benefits substantiated by clinical research. The company markets Chromax(R) chromium picolinate, which is the most-studied form of the essential mineral chromium. Nutrition 21 holds 36 patents for nutrition products and uses, 27 of which are for chromium compounds and their uses. More information is available at www.nutrition21.com.

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