A new drug for treating type 2 diabetes, canagliflozi, marketed as Invokana, has been approved for use by NHS Scotland.
The Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) gave a positive recommendation for the drug which means it will be available on prescription in Scotland. Canagliflozin needs only to be taken once each day and is to be taken in addition to other diabetes drugs including metformin and insulin.
The drug is in a new group of diabetes drugs called sodium-glucose co-transporter-2 inhibitors. These medications help the kidneys to remove a larger amount of excess glucose from the blood, helping to substantially reduce high blood glucose levels.
Another key benefit of the drug is that it promotes weight loss as, when glucose is passed out of the blood into the urine, so are the accompanying calories. There are some disadvantages in using canagliflozi, such as a greater risk of urinary tract infections and thrush. Whilst the drug has been approved for safety, it is a new type of medication and the effects of long term usage of the drug are yet to be well established.
Professor Miles Fisher, Consultant Physician at Glasgow Royal Infirmary said: “Type 2 diabetes is one of the most significant health challenges facing Scotland today. Gaining access to new treatments like canagliflozi, is important in helping us to better manage this deadly epidemic.”

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