New Diabetes Drugs – The Future of Diabetes Treatment

New diabetes drugs are coming under more strict screening processes due to concerns over heart health risks from the medications. This however has not deterred researchers and drug companies from coming up with many new advancements in the treatments of diabetes mellitus.

The food and drug administration is cracking down to protect patients, but this will likely mean added cost to drug companies that could get passed down to the consumer.

The need for this added screening process is due in part to research that has surfaced on new diabetes drugs such as Avandia, which could be linked to an increased risk of heart attacks.

Complications of diabetes mellitus already include heart and blood vessel related disease, in fact, "heart attacks are a leading cause of death among diabetics, medications that lower blood sugars but also increase heart risks could easily do more harm than good" (1)

One step the FDA is taking to ensure the safety of new drugs is to test the new diabetes medication on a greater number of high-risk patients. Historically, studies were performed on patients who were younger and healthier then the typical patient who would end up taking the drug.

Drug companies will also be required to have independent committees in place to monitor the rate of heart related complications.

What the future holds for new diabetes drugs

Amidst the new and ever changing regulations on new diabetes drugs, one thing is certain, advancements in the diagnosis, treatment, and delivery of treatment will continue to grow.

Insulin was first introduced approximately 75 years ago and since then medical innovations have continued to come on the market.

New diabetes drugs that show promise or have recently been approved by the FDA include:

  • Duetact, which combined two existing drugs - pioglitazone (sold as Actos) and glimepiride (sold as Amaryl) - into one pill taken daily.
  • Liraglutide, from the same class as Byetta, this new drug reduces blood sugar and lowers weight in clinical studies.
  • Glucose Tolerance Factor (GTF), was shown in research conducted on diabetic rats to reduce blood glucose and lipids.
  • The oral diabetes medicine, saxagliptin (brand name Onglyza), which works to lower blood glucose by blocking the action of an enzyme known as dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP-4).

Other advancements in the way insulin is administered to patients with diabetes are also on the horizon making this topic of new medications for diabetes one that will have a long road ahead.

(1) Diabetes Forecast (2008). FDA raises the bar for new diabetes drugs. Retrieved from http://forecast.diabetes.org/news/fda-raises-bar-new-diabetes-drugs

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