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New treatment for type 2 diabetes launched

A new oral therapy, Janumet, is launched today in the UK for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. A combination of sitagliptin (a DPP-4 inhibitor) and metformin (the mainstay of diabetes management) is now available in one tablet that addresses all three core defects underlying the disease in relation to glycaemic control.

As the treatment armoury for type 2 diabetes continues to evolve, nearly half (48%) of UK practice nurses claim the main issue raised by their patients is concern around forgetting to take their treatments.

More than nine out of 10 practice nurses (95%) believing that pill burden impacts concordance of type 2 patients with their treatment, according to new survey results unveiled today.

Janumet (sitagliptin/metformin) provides a simple oral solution for patients and healthcare professionals alike, minimising the number of pills needed to effectively lower blood glucose levels via a multi-targeted approach, while not increasing the risk of hypoglycaemia and weight gain.

When surveyed more than 70% of practice nurses recognised each of the three core defects as important to achieve optimum outcomes for the patient. Sitagliptin/metformin can help to optimise treatment choices for practice nurses by targeting all three core defects associated with type 2 diabetes. These include insulin deficiency from pancreatic beta cells, insulin resistance in body tissues and over-production of glucose by the liver. 

"Nurses are the first port of call for people with diabetes who have concerns about their treatment and its side effects. Those with diabetes can take multiple tablets a day to address glycaemic control, lipid abnormalities, hypertension, obesity and other co-morbidities.

"These people regularly raise their concerns around remembering to take the various treatments prescribed to manage their condition, and unpleasant side effects such as hypoglycaemia and weight gain," says Debbie Hicks, Nurse Consultant - Diabetes, NHS Enfield Community Services, London, UK.

"With Janumet, nurses can now offer people with diabetes a new oral treatment option that helps address their diabetes' concerns as well as continuing to provide effective treatment by targeting all three core glycaemic defects associated with type 2 diabetes."

The survey found that practice nurses identified several issues of importance to their patients, including potential weight gain issues (85%), long-term health (50%) and managing injections (36%).

Sitagliptin, and now the sitagliptin/metformin combination, can help to overcome these concerns, having been shown to lower blood sugar levels with comparable efficacy to a sulphonylurea (SU), with a reduced risk of hypoglycaemia (a common side-effect associated with SUs), and reduced risk of weight gain, seen with both SUs and TZDs.

Sitagliptin/metformin is now approved by the 27 member countries of the European Union (EU) to improve glycaemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes.

The combination tablet can be used as an adjunct to diet and exercise in patients inadequately controlled on their maximal tolerated dose of metformin alone or metformin and a sulphonylurea, or those already being treated with the combination of sitagliptin and metformin. It is now approved in more than 50 countries worldwide, with over 700,000 total prescriptions already dispensed.