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SGLT-2 inhibitor backed by NICE for treating diabetes

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The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has recommended that a new treatment for type 2 diabetes be used by the NHS.

NICE yesterday published final guidance recommending empagliflozin (Jardiance) to treat type 2 diabetes.

It confirms a positive determination from the institute earlier this year, after the drug’s manufacturer submitted new evidence suggesting that empagliflozin combination therapy was a cost-effective treatment option for some diabetes patients.

Empagliflozin, marketed by Boehringer Ingelheim, provides an additional option for people with type 2 diabetes alongside other treatments that have similar costs and outcomes, said NICE.

It has recommended the drug as a treatment for type 2 diabetes when taken with metformin, but only if the patient cannot take a sulfonylurea, or is at significant risk of hypoglycaemia or its consequences.

Where a patient needs to take three antidiabetic drugs, empagliflozin is also recommended by NICE as a treatment when taken with either metformin and a sulfonylurea, or with metformin and a thiazolidinedione.

In addition, empagliflozin is recommended as a treatment when taken with insulin, with or without other antidiabetic drugs.

It belongs to a class of drugs called sodium glucose co-transporter (SGLT-2) inhibitors, which work by blocking re-absorption of blood sugar by the kidneys – and in turn reducing the amount of sugar in the blood.

“The NHS now has a legal obligation to begin funding this treatment for eligible patients within the next three months,” said a spokeswoman for NICE.

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