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More information needed on new Type 2 diabetes drug

By Editor
29th August 2014
Latest news, NICE

Health watchdog NICE has called for more evidence from Boehringer Ingelheim on its drug empagliflozin for treating Type 2 diabetes in new draft guidance.

Empagliflozin (marketed as Jardiance) works by blocking the reabsorption of glucose in the kidneys which is instead passed out of the body in the urine. It is an oral, once-daily medication belonging to a class of drugs called sodium glucose co-transporter (SGLT-2) inhibitors.

Commenting on the draft guidance, Professor Carole Longson, Director of the NICE Centre for Health Technology Evaluation, said: “Type 2 diabetes is a major problem facing the NHS, affecting almost 2.5 million people in England, so it’s important to have a varied arsenal to tackle it.

“NICE already recommends several treatments, alongside lifestyle and dietary advice, specifically for managing blood sugar levels in people with Type 2 diabetes. Each has its advantages and disadvantages that affect how suitable they are. New treatments, like empagliflozin, will help clinicians give people with Type 2 diabetes the right treatment.

“There is good evidence which shows that empagliflozin is clinically effective. But we need more information to demonstrate that it is cost effective when compared with other treatments the NHS already provides. The Committee has requested more information to help it decide whether empagliflozin is a cost-effective use of NHS resources.”

Consultees, including the manufacturer, healthcare professionals and members of the public are now able to comment on the preliminary recommendations via the NICE website. Comments received during this consultation will be fully considered by the committee and following this meeting the next draft guidance will be issued.

This is draft guidance; NICE has not yet issued final guidance to the NHS. Until then, NHS bodies should make decisions locally on the funding of specific treatments.

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