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Call for ‘regular’ medicine reviews for type 2 diabetes

By Editor
23rd April 2018

GP practices should regularly audit treatments for type 2 diabetes to ensure “appropriate targeted use of licensed medications and their cost-effectiveness”, a study has concluded.

The way agents licensed to treat the condition were used across GP practices in England in the year 2016/17 was analysed as part of the research published by The International Journal of Clinical Practice.

The researchers were from University of Manchester, Salford Royal Hospital, Walsall Manor Hospital, Mexico City, the Wiltshire-based RES Consortium and St Peters College, Oxford.

 They found that the annual prescribing costs and medication type for monotherapy varied considerably from £11 a year for gliclazide and glimepiride to £885 a year for Liraglutide.

The use of SGLT-2i agents grew strongly at 70 per cent per annum to around 100,000 defined daily doses (DDD) with prescriptions seen in 95 per cent of GP practices, according to the study.

Liraglutide expenditure (11 per cent of total) was high for a relatively small number of patients (1.3 per cent of DDD), with still significant spend on exenatide. Liraglutide use significantly exceeded that of other glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) agonists, the findings suggested.

The researchers concluded: “Conclusions: Our work demonstrates the significant cost of medication to modulate tissue glucose levels in type 2 diabetes and the dominance of some non-generic preparations in terms of the number of prescriptions and overall spend. There are some older sulphonylureas in use, which should not generally be prescribed. Regular audit of patient treatment at a general practice level will ensure appropriate targeted use of licensed medications and of their cost-effectiveness.”

To access the study, click here.

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