The National Institute for Health and Care (NICE) has recommended three drugs for the treatment of type 2 diabetes in the UK.
The drugs are Invokana (canagliflozin), Forxiga (dapagliflozin) and Jardiance (empagliflozin), all of which are SGLT2 inhibitors that work by allowing the kidneys to remove excess sugar through urine.
All three drugs have been recommended as treatment options for type 2 diabetes in adults when metformin is not appropriate and when diet and exercise does not provide sufficient control of blood glucose levels.
Professor Carole Longso, director of the NICE Centre for Health Technology Evaluatio, said: “The committee agreed that people with diabetes and their clinicians would value having an additional treatment option to help manage their type 2 diabetes – which this positive guidance provides.
“For people who can’t take a sulfonylurea or pioglitazone, then the three drugs recommended in this guidance can be considered. This is as an alternative to the separate group of drugs called dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors.”
Patients in the UK who have already been prescribed SGLT2 drugs in any situations outside of the new guidelines are recommended to continue treatment until it is deemed appropriate to stop by their doctor.
NICE has made the recommendations following evidence that found SGLT2 inhibitors have an “insulin independent mode of action, unlike other oral diabetes treatments used when metformin cannot be tolerated. This makes the risk of hypoglycemia extremely low”.
The drugs are also effective in improving HbA1c and can help patients lose weight and reduce their blood pressure.
NICE reports that around 31,000 people with type 2 diabetes in the UK could be eligible for treatment with these three drugs.

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