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NICE recommends liraglutide for diabetes triple therapy

GP consultationNICE has recommended the use of liraglutide (Victoza), a once-daily injection, for the treatment of type-2 diabetes as part of triple therapy regimens, under latest draft guidance.

UK cases of diabetes have soared in recent years, fuelled by an increase in obesity rates. Currently, it is estimated that there are over 2.5 million people with diabetes in the UK and a further half a million people who are unaware that they have the condition.

This latest announcement offers a new alternative for patients who are unable to control their diabetes with current treatments. Patients who are already taking metformin and a sulfonylurea, or metformin and a thiazolidinedione, but still have poor blood glucose control should be offered liraglutide in combination with their current treatments. Patients must also be overweight, with a body mass index (BMI) of 35kg/m2 and over, to be eligible for the drug.

However, diabetics who have a BMI below 35kg/m2 could also benefit from the drug if it is considered that its use could help to achieve levels of weight loss that could be beneficial in treating other conditions caused by being obese.

Dr George Kassianos, a member of the British Cardiovascular Society and a GP in Berkshire, described the approval by NICE of the use of liraglutide in triple therapy as “a very welcome development for primary care physicians.”

“Controlling hyperglycaemia and its indicators is not easy. The addition of liraglutide to our formulary will be welcome by patients and will go a long way to helping them achieve their glycaemic goals,” he said.

Under the draft guidance, liraglutide is not recommended for use in dual therapy or in the 1.8mg daily dosage.

Dr Carole Longson, Health Technology Evaluation Centre Director at NICE said: “We are pleased to recommend liraglutide, 1.2 mg daily, as a clinically and cost effective treatment option as part of triple therapy regimens for some patients under restrictions.

“However 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. The next step for the manufacturer is to consider the committee's comments and respond to its concerns.”

15 February 2010

This page was last updated: 12 February 2010

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Copyright 2014 National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. All rights reserved.