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NICE recommends new drug for some with Type 2 diabetes

The use of a new drug for some people with Type 2 diabetes has been recommended in final draft guidance issued today by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE).

The drug, dapagliflozin, helps to maintain blood glucose control by the blocking the re-absorption of glucose in the kidneys and promoting excretion of excess glucose in the urine.

The draft NICE guidance recommends the use of dapagliflozin, which is also known as Forxiga, in combination with metformin, which acts to lower blood glucose levels. In some cases, dapagliflozin can also be used in combination with insulin.

Potential use for up to one million patients

The manufacturers of the drug, Bristol-Myers Squibb and AstraZeneca, estimate that it could be suitable for up to one million UK patients.

Dapagliflozin has not been recommended for use in treating Type 1 diabetes.

Final guidance due June 2013

NICE has not yet issued final guidance to the NHS; these decisions may change in the event of an appeal. The final decision on the use of dapagliflozin is due to be published in June 2013. In the interim, NHS bodies are able to make decisions locally on the use of the drug.

Professor Carole Longson, Health Technology Evaluation Centre Director at NICE, said, "We are pleased to recommend dapagliflozin for some people with Type 2 diabetes. It is a serious problem in the UK and dapagliflozin provides another treatment option for some people with this condition."

New treatment options welcome

Libby Dowling, Clinical Advisor for Diabetes UK, said, "We welcome any new treatment options that help people with diabetes manage their condition, though we note that this is draft guidance and could yet change before a final version is issued."

Further information on the final draft guidance can be found on theNICE website.

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