Published on 3 March 2016

A new study has reported that Xultophy taken in a pen to treat type 2 diabetes could be more cost effective than current insulin based treatments for the condition.

Xultophy (insulin degludec/liraglutide; IDegLira) is the first once-daily combination of a long-acting basal insulin (Tresiba/insulin degludec) and a glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist (Victoza/liraglutide) in one pen.

A report presented at the Diabetes UK Professional Conference in Glasgow, Scotland found that Xultophy provide a more cost-effective method of treatment for people with type 2 diabetes when compared to existing insulin-based treatment options for the treatment of people in the UK with type 2 diabetes who are uncontrolled on basal insulin.

Xultophy could help NHS cut costs over existing insulin based treatments to treat type 2 diabetes

The analysis assessed the cost-effectiveness of IDegLira compared to an up-titration of insulin glargine U100, separate injections of liraglutide added to basal insulin (insulin glargine U100 or insulin detemir), or insulin glargine U100 in combination with three daily injections of insulin aspart (basal-bolus).

The study compared the cost of the two treatments form the perspective of how the NHS could treat someone with type 2 diabetes over the course of their lifetime.

Melanie Davies, Professor of Diabetes Medicine, University of Leicester, said: “In the UK, 69% of people with type 2 diabetes treated with basal insulin do not achieve glycaemic control. It is useful for clinicians that cost-effective combination treatments such as IDegLira are available as they have been shown to help patients achieve optimal glycaemic targets and may help prevent complications.”

On average, in the UK, taking IDegLira daily was found to cost less in total and was more effective compared to the separate injections of liraglutide added to basal insulin or compared to basal-bolus treatments. IDegLira was also cost-effective versus up-titration of insulin glargine U100, with a cost of £6,090 for each year, which is well below the UK threshold of £20,000 to £30,000 used by NICE.

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