Janssen’s diabetes drug arrives in the UK

Janssen’s launches diabetes drug Invokana in the UK amid initial approval from NICE.

The pharma division of Johnson & Johnson, Janssen, has announced it will begin marketing its new diabetes drug Invokana in the UK on the same day the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) gives the treatment a preliminary nod.

While NICE has yet to grant the drug full approval, an initial recommendation suggests that Invokana could soon be available on the NHS as a combination treatment with metformin, or in combination with both metformin and a sulfonylurea, offering a new option for patients with type 2 diabetes.

In the meantime, the diabetes treatment will arrive in the UK as a proven means of reducing the blood sugar levels of those with type 2 diabetes and unable to manage their conditions through other means, such as a lifestyle changes or alternative treatments.

A final decision from NICE is expected in the middle of March. If Invokana gets the nod of approval it will become the second sodium glucose co-transporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitor to be approved by the national body, following AstraZeneca’s Forxiga in 2013.