Novo Nordisk: type 2 diabetes treatment Ozempic ® (semaglutide), a new once-weekly GLP-1 analogue injection is now available in the UK.
Ozempic® works by mimicking the function of the GLP-1 (human glucagon-like peptide-1) hormone produced in the gut that lowers post-meal blood glucose levels and also slows glucose absorption into the bloodstream. Ozempic® should be used alongside diet and exercise, as monotherapy when metformin is considered inappropriate due to intolerance or contraindications or in addition to other medicinal products for the treatment of diabetes, when type 2 diabetes is insufficiently controlled.
Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death and disability in type 2 diabetes worldwide. Leading charity Diabetes UK recently warned that people with type 2 diabetes are up to twice more likely to die prematurely from avoidable complications than those without the condition. In the latest data available from NHS Digital (2016/17) 33% of people living with type 2 diabetes did not meet their blood glucose (HbA1c) target of ≤7.5%. Alongside this 9 out of 10 are overweight or obese. 7000 under 25’s have type 2 diabetes in England and Wales.
“Being able to offer medicines such as Ozempic®, which patients only need to take once a week, is an important step in helping to control the condition and reduce risks.”
The EU licensing of type 2 diabetes treatment Ozempic is based on results from the SUSTAIN clinical trial programme which consistently demonstrated:
- superior glycaemic control compared to dulaglutide, exenatide once weekly, sitagliptin and insulin glargine U100
- superior and sustained weight loss compared to dulaglutide, exenatide once weekly, sitagliptin and insulin glargine U100
- cardiovascular benefits vs placebo both in addition to standard of care in people with type 2 diabetes at high risk for CV events
There are currently over 4 million people in the UK living with diabetes and with 1 in every 11 people in England now at risk of developing the condition, diabetes is the fastest-growing health threat facing the country. Type 2 diabetes costs the NHS £8.8bn a year, with 80% of that used to treat avoidable complications. The cost of Ozempic® is £2.62 per day, so can be prescribed at no additional cost compared to other once-weekly GLP-1 RAs available.
Type 2 diabetes treatment Ozempic has received positive recommendation by the two UK health technology assessment (HTA) bodies, All Wales Medicines Strategy Group (AWMSG) and Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC). Ozempic® is recommended as a treatment option for restricted use within NHS Wales and NHS Scotland in the treatment of insufficiently controlled type 2 diabetes mellitus in adults as an add-on therapy to oral antidiabetic medicines or basal insulin.
Type 2 diabetes treatment Ozempic is available in 0.25mg as the starting dose that patients will take once a week for four weeks. Patients will then move up to 0.5mg once a week. After at least four weeks this dose can be increased to 1.0mg once-weekly to further improve glycaemic control if necessary.
Steve Bain, Professor of Medicine (Diabetes) at Swansea University and Assistant Medical Director for Research & Development for ABM University Health Board and Clinical Lead for the Diabetes Research Network, Wales said: “We know that people with uncontrolled type 2 diabetes are at risk of serious complications and that can have a real impact on their lives. Being able to offer medicines such as Ozempic®, which patients only need to take once a week, is an important step in helping to control the condition and reducing those risks.”
Dr Avideh Nazeri, Director of Clinical, Medical and Regulatory for Novo Nordisk UK said: “When Type 2 diabetes is well managed, the risk of life-changing and life-limiting complications can be reduced. Novo Nordisk is proud to bring Ozempic® to people living with type 2 diabetes in the UK. We believe the clinical profile of Ozempic® will help to meet the real and serious needs of those living with this condition.”