Not all oral type 2 diabetes medications are created equally; advice for starting monotherapy

While all of the oral medications approved to treat type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) effectively lower blood glucose, each medication’s effects on other clinical events vary. The costs of these drugs also vary. A recent study of 254,973 T2DM patients who were newly initiated on oral hypoglycemic monotherapy examined prescribing patterns and associated costs.

Key Point: Treat most patients initially with metformin or a sulfonylurea. Metformin and sulfonylureas cost less than newer agents, and they effectively lower glucose. In addition, metformin may have a favorable result on cardiovascular risk such as lowering fasting plasma insulin levels and lowering total and LDL cholesterol levels and free fatty acids. Cardiovascular benefits and risks are not yet established for newer agents.

This 2-year study examined prescription claims data for patients aged 18 to 100 years for the T2DM oral medication classes approved by the United States’ Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The findings are of particular importance for India, where 50.8 million people have been diagnosed with diabetes, many cases remain undiagnosed, and pharmaceutical drug costs are a key issue with virtually all medications paid for “out-of-pocket” by patients.

Summary of Findings: The American Diabetes Association recommends...

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This entry was posted in Diabetes, Endocrinology, Non-Communicable Disease, Pharmacology, Primary Care and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Volume: .

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