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New NHS guidance has recommended the use of an injectable drug that could benefit many people with Type 2 diabetes.
Victoza (liraglutide), can be used on a once-a-day basis for patients to stabilise their blood sugar levels, after the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) gave its approval.
Victoza can be used on obese people and some people with diabetes who are not overweight, as it works by stimulating the release of insulin and reducing appetite.
According to scientists, the drug is a step between oral tablets and going on to insulin.
The guidance, published by NICE, said that a 1.2mg dose of the drug on a daily basis would be suitable for some people with the condition.
However, it said there did not appear to be any extra benefit from a higher 1.8mg dose.
Victoza must be taken in combination with other diabetes drugs, according to the Nice guidance, and treatment should only be continued if the patient is benefiting.
Type 2 diabetes is linked to obesity and inactive lifestyles.
Dr Carole Longson, health technology evaluation centre director at NICE, said: “There are about 2.5 million people in the UK living with diabetes – 90% of whom have Type 2 diabetes.
“It is a serious, progressive disease, and so we are pleased to be able to recommend liraglutide 1.2mg daily as a clinically and cost effective treatment option for some patients with Type 2 diabetes.”
Evidence from the manufacturer Novo Nordisk suggests almost 5,500 patients would go on to the drug in the first year.
Copyright Press Association 2010