NICE approves canagliflozin as new type 2 diabetes treatment option

NICE has approved the use of canagliflozin in combination with other anti-diabetic drugs to treat people with type 2 diabetes, widening available treatment options for GPs.

Approval of canagliflozin widens treatment options for GPs (Photo: iStock)
Approval of canagliflozin widens treatment options for GPs (Photo: iStock)

In final guidance, NICE recommended canagliflozin (Invokana) as dual therapy in combination with metformin where a sulfonylurea is contraindicated or not tolerated, or the patient is at risk of hypoglycaemia.

Canagliflozin can also be considered in combination with insulin with or without other anti-diabetic drugs. In addition, it can be offered as triple therapy when taken with metformin and either a sulfonylurea or a thiazolidinedione.

The drug, marketed by Janssen-Cilag, marks the tenth NICE-approved treatment to reduce blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetes.

It is taken orally once daily, and belongs to a class of drugs known as sodium glucose co-transporter 2 (SGLT-2) inhibitors, which work by blocking reabsorption of excess glucose in the kidneys, enabling it to pass out of the body in urine.

Professor Carole Longson, director of the centre for health technology evaluation at NICE, said: ‘Treatment needs can vary from person to person which means clinicians need access to a number of drugs if they are to successfully control type 2 diabetes.

'With this new positive recommendation for canagliflozin, we have added another clinically and cost effective option to the armoury of anti-diabetic drugs.’

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