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Diabetes drug liraglutide set to be approved for limited NHS use

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Liraglutide, a new drug for obese patients with type 2 diabetes, looks set to be approved by NICE for limited use on the NHS.

Draft guidance from NICE has deemed liraglutide a cost and clinically-effective option when given as a daily 1.2mg injection with two oral anti-diabetic tablets.

However, NICE has asked for more information about using it in combination with only one anti-diabetic pill. The draft guidance also does not support giving higher doses of 1.8 mg.

The drug, which only stimulates the release of insulin when glucose levels rise too high and inhibits appetite, belongs to a class of diabetes medication called GLP-1. It is marketed under the brand name Victoza by Danish pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk, and has been available in the UK since July last year.

Novo Nordisk said it was encouraged by NICE’s preliminary view and anticipated more discussions before the institute published its final guidance, which is due in June.

Dr Carole Longson, Health Technology Evaluation Centre director at NICE, said: “We felt that there was not sufficient evidence to recommend it in dual therapy regimens for type 2 diabetes mellitus.

“The committee concluded that there were disparities in the data provided by the manufacturer, particularly regarding the economic analyses of liraglutide in dual therapy regimens for this type of diabetes.”

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