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Scotland gets dapagliflozin go-ahead

People with Type 2 diabetes in Scotland have access to a new drug after physicians were given the go ahead by the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) to prescribe Forxiga (dapagliflozin). The drug will be available for adults with type 2 diabetes for restricted use as dual therapy in combination with metformin, when metformin alone with diet and exercise does not provide adequate glycaemic control and a sulphonylurea is inappropriate.

Dapagliflozin is the first in a new class of treatments called sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors and developed from phlorizin, a naturally occurring sugar compound found in the bark of apple trees. It works by reducing the amount of glucose reabsorbed in the kidney. As a result, in people with Type 2 diabetes, an increased amount of glucose is passed out of the body via the urine each day, along with the associated calories.

Unlike many other diabetes medications, dapagliflozin works in a way that is independent of insulin action and offers an alternative new approach for people with type 2 diabetes currently failing with their diet, exercise plan and are uncontrolled on their existing medication.

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