A weekly diabetes jab has been approved for use on the NHS – replacing the need for twice-a-day injections. Doctors can start prescribing Bydureon immediately to the 2.5million type 2 diabetes sufferers nationwide.It could spell the end of sufferers having to inject themselves with exenatide twice a day, the Daily Express reported.
The National Institute for Clinical Excellence yesterday provisionally approved the £19-per-week jab for use on the NHS.Although Primary Care Trusts are able to start issuing the drug immediately, it is not likely to be widely prescribed across the health service until after final guidance is published next February.
Bydureon provides the first treatment for type 2 diabetes which can be administered just once a week. Cathy Moulton, Diabetes UK clinical adviser, told the Daily Express: ‘For people currently using exenatide, a twice-daily injection, the possibility of being able to administer this treatment once a week could hugely improve their quality of life.’
Bydureon works in the same way as exenatide but is released much more slowly so the number of injections needed is reduced dramatically. When blood sugar levels are high, the drug induces the pancreas to produce more insulin. This stops so much glucose being produced and released into the bloodstream.