Once weekly injection for treatment of type 2 diabetes now available in UK
A new therapeutic option for the treatment of type 2 diabetes is available to be prescribed by healthcare professionals for their patients in the UK.
Trulicity (dulaglutide) is to be taken as a once-weekly injectable solution and is designed to improve glycaemic (blood sugar) control in adults with type 2 diabetes as:
- Monotherapy, when diet and exercise alone do not provide adequate glycaemic control in patients for whom the use of metformin is considered inappropriate due to intolerance or may risk harming the patient (the recommended dose is 0.75mg once weekly).
- Add-on therapy, in combination with other glucose-lowering medicines, including insulin, when these, together with diet and exercise, do not provide adequate glycaemic control (the recommended dose is 1.5mg once weekly). For potentially vulnerable populations, such as patients aged 75 years and older, 0.75mg once daily can be considered as a starting dose.
Recent research among 500 people with type 2 diabetes carried out by Ely Lilly and Co. uncovered some common misconceptions around what an injected treatment means for them. Of those surveyed, 84% believed that an injectable medication is a sign that their diabetes was getting worse, and 66% believed that injected medications were inconvenient.
The new once weekly injuection is designed to improve glycaemic (blood sugar) control
Debbie Hicks, Nurse Consultant in Diabetes, Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health Trust said: “Once oral medications are no longer providing adequate control, healthcare professionals may consider an injectable therapy as part of a long-term plan. Anxiety about needles is something many GPs and diabetes nurse specialists hear from patients, but options are now available that can help make the injection experience more convenient and less stressful. In fact, once patients have made the sometimes difficult step to move onto injectable medicines, most people find that the process becomes second nature.”
The availability of dulaglutide may go some way towards supporting people with type 2 diabetes who are reluctant to move to an injectable therapy, as the pre-filled pen has a hidden pre-attached needle and is ready to use.
Dulaglutide’s licensing in the UK was supported by effectiveness and safety figures from the AWARD (Assessment of Weekly AdministRation of dulaglutide in Diabetes) clinical program (studies 1-6), which compared dulaglutide to five commonly used diabetes medicines (exenatide, metformin, sitagliptin, insulin glargine and liraglutide). The trials studied dulaglutide as monotherapy, dual therapy and triple therapy, as well as more complicated regimens.
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