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New Diabetes Drugs No Better Than Older Meds, Say Researchers

By    |   Friday, 28 Feb 2014 04:55 PM

New research led by the Mayo Clinic has found two newer classes of diabetes drugs are no more effective than cheaper, old standby medicine.
 
The study, funded by the National Science Foundation, is based on an analysis of 15 years’ worth of medical records from more than 37,000 patients, Medical Xpress reports. The analysis compared the drug sulfonylurea to newer classes of drugs  known as DPP-IV inhibitors (marketed under the brand names Januvia, Onglyza, and Tradjenta) and so-called GLP-1 agonists (trade names: Byetta and Victoza).
 
The drugs have different mechanisms for stabilizing patients' blood sugar levels and are the second line of defense when the body develops resistance to the gold standard medication known as metformin.
 
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The researchers, including specialists from the University of Michigan and North Carolina State University, not only found that the new classes of drugs offered no benefit over the older standby, they also determined the newer drugs cost patients and insurance companies up to $2,400 more.
 
"Conventional wisdom would suggest the newer medications should be more effective since they cost more, but what we find is that they don't appear to result in people living longer or avoiding complications," said Brian Denton, UM associate who specializes in medical decision-making.
 
About 25 million Americans live with Type 2 diabetes, the researchers noted, adding that their findings suggest using older medications could offer substantial savings to patients and insurers, without compromising diabetics’ health.

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Mayo Clinic researchers have found two newer classes of diabetes drugs are no more effective than cheaper, old standby medicine. The study, funded by the National Science Foundation, is based on an analysis of 15 years' worth of medical records.
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Friday, 28 Feb 2014 04:55 PM
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