pharmacyA new therapeutic option for the treatment of type 2 diabetes is available to be prescribed by healthcare professionals in the UK. Dulaglutide (Trulicity®) is a glucagon-like peptide (GLP-1) receptor agonist and is available as a once-weekly, injectable solution. 

It is indicated to improve glycaemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes as monotherapy, when diet and exercise alone do not provide adequate glycaemic control in patients for whom the use of metformin is considered inappropriate due to intolerance or contraindications. It is also indicated as add-on therapy, in combination with other glucose-lowering medicines, including insulin, when these, together with diet and exercise, do not provide adequate glycaemic control.

Lilly has conducted new research among 500 people with type 2 diabetes which uncovers some common misconceptions around what an injected treatment means for them. 84% of those surveyed believe that an injectable medication is a sign that their diabetes is getting worse, and 66% believe that injected medications are inconvenient.

Debbie Hicks, Nurse Consultant in Diabetes, Barnet, Enfield & Haringey Mental Health Trust said: “Once oral medications are no longer providing adequate control, healthcare professionals may consider an injectable therapy as part of a long-term plan. Anxiety about needles is something many GPs and diabetes nurse specialists hear from patients, but options are now available that can help make the injection experience more convenient and less stressful. In fact, once patients have made the sometimes difficult step to move onto injectable medicines, most people find that the process becomes second nature.” 

The availability of dulaglutide may go some way towards supporting those patients who are reluctant to move to an injectable therapy, as the pre-filled pen has a hidden pre-attached needle and is ready to use. 

Dulaglutide’s licensing in the UK was supported by efficacy and safety data from the AWARD (Assessment of Weekly AdministRation of dulaglutide in Diabetes) clinical program (studies 1-6), which compared dulaglutide to five commonly used diabetes medicines (exenatide, metformin, sitagliptin, insulin glargine and liraglutide). The trials studied dulaglutide as monotherapy, dual therapy and triple therapy, as well as more complicated regimens.