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Injectable diabetes drug approved

An injectable drug to treat people with type 2 diabetes has been approved for use by the NHS.

Victoza (liraglutide), which has been given the approval by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), will help people stabilise their blood sugar levels and provide an alternative to tablets and insulin.

The drug, which is recommended to be taken once a day in a 1.2mg dose alongside other diabetes medication, helps to release insulin and reduce appetite.

Dr Carole Longson, health technology evaluation centre director at NICE, said: "There are about 2.5 million people in the UK living with diabetes - 90% of whom have type 2 diabetes.

"It is a serious, progressive disease, and so we are pleased to be able to recommend liraglutide 1.2mg daily as a clinically and cost effective treatment option for some patients with type 2 diabetes."

Type 2 diabetes has been linked with obesity.

Evidence from the manufacturer Novo Nordisk suggests almost 5,500 patients would go on to the drug in the first year.

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"The need for much of these medications could be severely reduced if only the medical authorities would look properly into the question of controlled carbohydrate diets. Such diets control blood glucose, improve lipid profiles and help reduce weight, however the current practice is to discourage such a diet and increase use of drugs, which inevitably have side effects" - Hana Rous, Berkshire