29 November 2016

NICE Recommends Extra ‘Triple Therapy’ Drug for Treating Type 2 Diabetes

NICE has published final guidance recommending dapagliflozin for treating type 2 diabetes in ‘triple therapy’

Dapagliflozin can be added as a third drug where two drugs for type 2 diabetes are not controlling a person’s blood sugar. 

Professor Carole Longson, director of the NICE centre for health technology evaluation, said:

“Having a range of drug options makes it easier to tailor treatments for type 2 diabetes to each person’s individual needs.  This new guidance recommends dapagliflozin in triple therapy – only in combination with metformin and a sulfonylurea – which will widen the choice available for people whose diabetes isn’t well controlled with two drugs.  And as we’ve been able to publish this final guidance sooner because of positive draft recommendations, we hope that people who need this extra treatment option will benefit more quickly.”

A person with type 2 diabetes has too much glucose (sugar) in their blood. Around 3 million people in the UK have the condition, and it’s more common in people of African, African Caribbean and South Asian family origin.  

Blood glucose levels might not be controlled by diet and exercise alone, so people in this position are offered metformin (or an alternative drug if they can’t take metformin) as their first single drug treatment. If blood glucose levels still don’t decrease, then a second drug can be added, or if needed they can also have a third drug – triple therapy.

This final guidance means that dapagliflozin joins two other similar drugs, empagliflozin and canagliflozin, as NICE-recommended options for triple therapy. All three drugs are already recommended for use on their own if a person can’t use metformin or other specific drugs, or in combination with metformin as dual therapy.