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May 5, 2007
Diabetes drugs 'unjustified'
Friday, 27 Apr 2007 13:02

http://www.inthenews.co.uk/news/health/pharmaceutical/diabetes-drugs-unjustified-$1080251.htm


Taking prescription drugs to prevent diabetes is "impossible" to justify, researchers have claimed.

Instead, US scientists say, people at risk of the condition should use equally effective lifestyle changes such as weight loss and physical activity.

A recent trial found that the drug rosiglitazone reduces the risk of diabetes in people likely to develop it.

But writing in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), researchers from the Mayo clinic in the US and McMaster University claim that "aggressively marketing" the drug as a preventative method "will bring harms and additional costs while the benefits for patients remain questionable".

Research outlined in the BMJ found that modest weight loss and physical activity can bring a 58 per cent reduction in risk of diabetes.

Although several trials have assessed the ability of drugs to prevent diabetes [glitazones], none have shown evidence of improving outcomes important to patients, the US team claims, and evidence has emerged of a number of serious side-effects of the drugs.

"If clinicians offer patients glitazones to prevent diabetes, they are offering certain inconvenience, cost, and risk for largely speculative benefit," the researchers write today.

"Lifestyle changes are clearly at least as effective as glitazones and can be implemented considerably more cheaply."

They conclude: "Clinical use of glitazones to prevent diabetes is, at present, impossible to justify because of unproved benefit on patient important outcomes or lasting effect on serum glucose, increased burden of disease labelling, serious adverse effects, increased economic burden, and availability of effective, less costly lifestyle measures."

Diabetes UK, the country's largest organisation working on diabetes, has said that lifestyle changes are key to reducing the number of people with diabetes.

"Eating a healthy, balanced diet and taking regular physical activity is essential in managing and, in some cases of type two diabetes, preventing the condition," said Jemma Edwards, care advisor at Diabetes UK

"The more people we can get that message to, the more cases of type two diabetes we hope can be prevented through simple lifestyle changes."
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Posted: May 5, 2007 12:36am

 

 
 
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