Steglatro becomes the latest SGLT2 drug to be available on the NHS

Benedict Jephcote
Thu, 28 Mar 2019
Steglatro becomes the latest SGLT2 drug to be available on the NHS
Steglatro (ertugliflozin) is the latest sodium-glucose contransporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibitor to be approved for use, on the NHS, by people with type 2 diabetes.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) gave its approval to the medication which means there are now four different SGLT2 inhibitor drugs available on the NHS. Steglatro is sold by pharmaceutical company, Merck, Sharpe, and Dohme (MSD).

Steglatro joins Forxiga (dapagliflozin), Invokana (canagliflozin) and Jardiance (empagliflozin) within the available drugs of the SGLT2 inhibitor class.

SGLT2 inhibitors work by reducing the amount of glucose that the kidneys reabsorb back into the blood after filtering. As a result, more excess glucose is removed through the urine than may otherwise be the case. This helps to lower blood glucose levels in people who have less well controlled blood glucose control.

A significant factor in the approval of Steglatro is the fact that it undercuts the costs, for the NHS, of other drugs in the SGLT2 class.

Steglatro will be available as either a monotherapy or as additional drug for those taking metformin but not reaching sufficient blood glucose control. Monotherapy is when only one drug is taken for a specific condition (in this case type 2 diabetes). The monotherapy option is open to people who cannot take metformin.

Other drugs in the SGLT2 inhibitors class have shown heart health benefits in clinical trials. Research into the cardiovascular (relating to heart and blood vessels) benefits of Steglatro is currently running as part of the VERTIS CV trial. The VERTIS CV trial involves 8,237 patients and is due to be completed this year.

Steglatro is a tablet which is taken once per day. The most common side effects associated with the drug are fungal infections affecting the vagina and other genitourinary infections.
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