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New insulin could mean fewer injections for people with Type 2 diabetes

Research into a new insulin for people with Type 2 diabetes has shown its effectiveness for blood glucose management when used three times a week.

Trials of the insulin, degludec, were carried out over 16 weeks in participants with Type 2 diabetes from the USA, Canada, India and South Africa. The participants were divided into three groups, one treated with insulin glargine (an insulin already on the market and used by people with Type 2 diabetes), a second treated with degludec once a day, with a third group treated with degludec three times a week.

Similar effectiveness

Results showed blood glucose levels were much the same across the three groups. In addition, fewer people experienced hypoglycaemia in the once-daily degludec group. In response to the article, Dr Iain Frame, Director of Research at Diabetes UK, said: "This is an incremental step forward in the treatment of Type 2 diabetes only. The research shows that degludec has the same effectiveness on blood glucose management as an insulin already on the market.

Additional benefits suggested

"However, the study does suggest some additional benefits. For people with Type 2 diabetes who use insulin and find daily insulin injections unpleasant, degludec could reduce the number of injections to three times a week. However, there are trials currently taking place testing weekly and oral therapies which have the potential of offering much more freedom.

"The study also suggests that degludec could reduce the frequency of hypos, a serious short term complication that can be debilitating and impact on a person’s quality of life.

"This work is still in its infancy and more trials are still needed to prove its effectiveness and safety as a routine treatment for people with Type 2 diabetes."

The research is published today in The Lancet.

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