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Online survey of UK diabetes patients

Type 2 diabetes patients' adherence to their medicines could be improved by reducing their pill burden, according to the results of an online survey

Type 2 diabetes patients' adherence to their medicines could be improved by reducing the pill burden, according to the results of an online survey.

The survey of 100 people with type 2 diabetes found that more than three-quarters of them were on medication to control it and, of these, 84 per cent would consider switching medication if it reduced the number of pills they had to take.

However, nearly half had never had any changes made to their medication, even though 35 per cent had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes for between five and 10 years, and a further 13 per cent had been diagnosed for more than 10 years. 

The survey, carried out by TNS on behalf of Takeda UK, also found that half of all respondents could not correctly define hypoglycaemia, while 49 per cent of those who had suffered hypoglycaemic-like symptoms had not reported them to their GP or practice diabetic nurse. Indeed, 14 per cent of respondents claimed never to have heard the term hypoglycaemia. 

Nearly 40 per cent of the patients surveyed took between 4 and 9+ tablets daily. A total of 41 per cent of respondents stated that they wished they could reduce the number of tablets they took daily. At least 16 per cent were taking four tablets per day and 9 per cent were taking more than six tablets per day. In addition, 24 per cent had concerns over possible drug side effects.
 
Fixed dose combination treatments reduce the pill burden of patients with type 2 diabetes and have a low risk of hypoglycaemia, when given second-line as an alternative to a sulphonylurea. Poor concordance with treatment is an important consideration in the management of type 2 diabetes, and simplifying oral treatment regimens to reduce pill burden may improve patient concordance, as well as engaging patients with the ongoing management of their diabetes.

Takeda UK markets two oral diabetes therapies.

25th November 2009

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