New data show that Tresiba® (insulin degludec) improves blood glucose control, reduces the risk of hypoglycaemia and allows for dose reductions in certain patients.1 These are the first real world data to show the value of insulin degludec in clinical practice across all five countries that prescribe the drug, including the UK, and support insulin degludec clinical trial data.
Data were evaluated following interviews and surveys with 125 physicians across the UK, Switzerland, Sweden, Luxembourg and Germany, covering a total of 1,770 treated patients. The clinical benefits reported include improved blood glucose control (as reported by 58 physicians on 1,149 patients), improved patient quality of life relating to flexibility of administration time and dosage when needed (44 physicians in 602 patients) and reduced hypoglycaemic episodes (30 physicians on 512 patients). In addition, 41% of physicians who treated the majority of patients reported a reduction in dose when switching patients to insulin degludec (51 physicians on 1,043 patients) and data show an 18% dose reduction with patients who use insulin degludec (42 physicians on 957 patients).1
Commenting on these data, Dr Adam Robinson said: "Insulin degludec has already reported a robust set of clinical trial data, and with these new real world data we can say with confidence that this treatment provides both clinical and quality of life benefits to a range of patients. The results are another example of how data from the real world can inform treatment decision making in clinical practice."
Separate data from 1,079 pairs of matched patients also being announced today demonstrated the impact of inpatient severe hypoglycaemia on patient outcomes and healthcare resources. Data show that the average per-patient admission cost for patients with inpatient severe hypoglycaemia was 24% higher than those who did not experience severe hypoglycaemia. Moreover, it showed inpatient severe hypoglycaemia patients had a significantly longer duration of hospital stay and were twice as likely to die in hospital.2
Gwen Hall, Diabetes Specialist Nurse, Haslemere Health Centre, Surrey, commented: "Hypoglycaemia is one of the most common complications of diabetes treatment and can have a detrimental effect on the person living with diabetes, and on their families. It is associated with reduced quality of life and places a significant financial burden on the NHS. It remains poorly recognised as a risk of some therapies and is under-reported by people with diabetes.
"If we consider the costs to the NHS in terms of treating inpatient hypoglycaemia, longer hospital stays and ambulance call-outs, we must also consider the costs to the individual, with an increased risk of longer term complications and increased mortality. With diabetes management becoming ever more complex, healthcare professionals need to keep abreast of developments and take steps appropriately to manage hypoglycaemia prevention and minimise risk."
About insulin degludec
Insulin degludec is a long-acting basal insulin analogue, developed by Novo Nordisk, and approved in Europe in 2013 for once-daily use in adults with both T1DM and T2DM.3 It gained further approval for the treatment of diabetes mellitus in adolescents and children from the age of one year in February 2015.3
Insulin degludec offers clinical benefits compared to insulin glargine,3 and has been shown to improve certain aspects of health-related quality of life (HRQoL).4
Insulin degludec offers the advantage of a lower daily dose than existing basal insulin analogues, with flexibility in dosing time, and significantly reduces the frequency of hypoglycaemic episodes (including severe and nocturnal episodes) compared to insulin glargine.3, 5, 6 Insulin degludec has also been shown to improve certain aspects of HRQoL compared to insulin glargine.4
About diabetes and hypoglycaemia
Diabetes is a chronic metabolic disorder and may require daily treatment with insulin, and is associated with a high burden to the patient and reduced health-related quality of life (HRQoL).7 It affects approximately 3.2million people in the UK and its prevalence is set to rise.8
Hypoglycaemic episodes continue to be a costly complication of diabetes in the UK each year with £41.8million for the treatment of moderate hypoglycaemic events and £30.4million for the treatment of severe hypoglycaemic events.9 Each episode involving hospitalisation costs the NHS an estimated £2,152 per person10, 11, 12 and one study showed that 28% of severe hypoglycaemia episodes resulted in direct or indirect hospital admission.13