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Invokana set for NICE recommendation

Janssen drug will provide another treatment option in diabetes

J&J Janssen Invokana (canagliflozin) diabetes drugNHS patients with type 2 diabetes in England and Wales are set to have access to a new treatment option after Johnson & Johnson's Invokana passed one of its final access hurdles.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has issued a final appraisal determination recommending the drug to reduce blood sugar levels in people unable to achieve adequate control via diet and lifestyle changes or treatment with other products.

Invokana (canagliflozin) is already available in the UK in a limited capacity after Janssen – J&J's pharma division – launched the drug in February when it had only received positive draft guidance from NICE.

J&J's confidence has been rewarded though, and Invokana will go on the list of type 2 diabetes drugs recommended for NHS prescribing once final guidance is published in June.

The full guidance for Invokana covers its use as a treatment for adults with type 2 diabetes if used in combination with metformin when a sulfonylurea, such as glimepiride, is contraindicated or not tolerated, or where the person is at significant risk of hypoglycaemia.

It can also be used as part of a triple therapy combination along with metformin and a sulfonylurea, or metformin and thiazolidinedione, or in combination with insulin with or without another diabetes treatment.

This diverse range of combination options is due to the way Invokana works without impacting blood sugar levels directly. Instead, as a sodium glucose co-transporter 2 (SGLT2), the drug blocks the re-absorption of glucose by the kidney, increasing the amount of glucose secreted in the urine.

There is one other SGLT2 recommended by NICE – AstraZeneca's Forxiga (dapagliflozin), which was given the green light last year.

Dr Peter Barnes, medical director at Janssen UK, commented that multiple therapy options were necessary in the treatment of diabetes.

He said: “Currently, the NHS is struggling to cope with the large increase in the number of people in the UK with type 2 diabetes and canagliflozin is a valuable new treatment option for these people."  

16th May 2014

From: Sales

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