New diabetes pill costs just £1 30 a day
Pill for diabetes that costs just £1.30 a day also cuts the risk of heart and kidney disease by 14%.
A cheap anti-diabetes drug slashes the risk of heart attacks and kidney disease, a major study has found.
Experts last night said the study, carried out among 10,000 patients in 30 countries, heralds a ‘new era’ in the treatment of type two diabetes.
Canagliflozin, a pill taken once a day before breakfast, is designed to lower blood sugar levels and keep weight down.
But the new study, presented last night at the American Diabetes Association Conference in San Diego, reveals the £1.30-a-day drug also has a remarkable impact on cardiovascular problems and kidney disease.
Because these issues are strongly linked to type two diabetes, the drug could make a huge difference to the four million people in the UK who have the disease.
The findings, published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine, found canagliflozin reduced the overall risk of cardiovascular disease – which includes heart attacks and strokes by 14 per cent.
It also slashed the risk of being hospitalised with heart failure – a serious problem in which the heart does not pump enough blood around the body – by 33 per cent.
And patients were 40 per cent less likely to suffer serious kidney decline – a major side effect of diabetes.
Professor Bruce Neal, of The George Institute for Global Health at Sydney University, said the findings offer real hope to the 500million people around the world living with type two diabetes.
He said: ‘Coronary heart disease is the biggest killer by far for people with type 2 diabetes.
‘Our findings suggest that not only does canagliflozin significantly reduce the risk of heart disease, it also has many other benefits too. We found it also reduced blood pressure and led to weight loss.
‘Type two diabetes is growing rapidly all over the world and we need drugs that not only deal with glucose levels, but that also protect the many millions of people from the very real risks of stroke and heart attack.’
People with type two diabetes are up to five times more likely to have cardiovascular disease.
Co-author Professor Vlado Perkovic, executive director of The George Institute Australia, said: ‘Both patients and physicians should be tremendously reassured by the results.
‘What we have done is show that the earlier results were not just a one off.