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Diabetes drug approved for use in Wales

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A new diabetes drug has been accepted for restricted use by the NHS in Wales.

The All Wales Medicines Strategy Group has issued a final appraisal recommendation in favour of the drug lixisenatide (Lyxumia) for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.

It has recommended that lixisenatide be an option for use in combination with basal insulin – with or without oral glucose-lowering medicinal products – in adult patients with uncontrolled diabetes.

The drug may also be considered in combination with oral glucose-lowering medicinal products in patients previously uncontrolled on two or more such products, the group said.

Lixisenatide, which is manufactured by Sanofi, is a once-daily GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide-1) receptor agonist with a predominantly prandial glucose-lowering effect.

GLP-1 is a naturally-occurring peptide hormone that is released within minutes after eating a meal. It is known to suppress glucagon secretion and stimulate glucose-dependent insulin secretion.

The group’s decision means the drug is the only GLP-1 receptor agonist approved for use in combination with basal insulin within NHS Wales.

It follows a similar move by the Scottish Medicines Consortium, which issued a health technology assessment in September advising the drug be made available for restricted use in NHS Scotland.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence will be reviewing lixisenatide for use in England as part of an update of its type 2 diabetes clinical guidelines, which is due in 2015.


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