A new oral drug treatment has been launched that improves blood sugar control and promotes weight loss in patients with type 2 diabetes.
Developed by Bristol-Myers Squibb and AstraZenecan, dapagliflozin (Forxigatm) is part of new group of medicines called sodium-glucose cotransporter (SGLT2) inhibitors, which work in a different way to existing diabetes drugs.
They reduce the amount of glucose reabsorbed by the kidneys so that excess glucose is filtered out of the body, along with the associated calories, through the urine. This not only lowers blood glucose levels but also reduces weight .
Because this process occurs independently of insulin action, it means dapagliflozin can be used in combination with other commonly used diabetes medications, including insulin, as well as a monotherapy to improve glycemic control .
The drug has been granted marketing authorisation by the European Commission and will be marketed by Bristol-Myers Squibb and AstraZeneca this month.
Dr Chris Walto, Consultant Diabetologist and Chair of the Association of British Clinical diabetologists, said: “Specialists in diabetes will be keen to work with GPs to assess the place of this new medicine in the treatment of their patients with type 2 diabetes.”

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