A new treatment that centres on kidney in managing Type 2 diabetes, and which has been approved in Europe and the US, has now been introduced in the UAE. The highlights of the breakthrough development were discussed at a medical symposium held in Dubai recently.
News of the innovative treatment comes at a time when nearly 18 million, in addition to the 37 million people living with diabetes in the Mena region, are said to be undiagnosed and, therefore, are at considerable risk of diabetic complications. The figures were published in the 6th edition of the IDF Diabetes Atlas published by International Diabetes Federation (IDF).
Dr. Abdulrazzaq Al Madani, President of Emirates Diabetes Society, EDS, and Chairman of the Gulf Group for Study of Diabetes, said, "This should come as great news for Type 2 diabetics. With this discovery, medical science can be said to have achieved a breakthrough in the management of Type 2 diabetes with kidney as the focal point. We are delighted to announce that the new treatment is now available in the UAE, which demonstrates that the UAE remains at the forefront of accessibility to advanced healthcare."
Referring to the IDF report, Dr. Al Madani added, "The report estimates the proportion of cases of undiagnosed diabetes based on population-based studies using either fasting blood glucose or oral glucose tolerance test, in a cross-sectional survey of people who were not earlier aware of their condition. The figure of undiagnosed cases of diabetes in the Mena is alarming and needs to be addressed at micro and macro levels.
"The introduction of new oral treatment for managing Type 2 diabetes might change the way we treat patients in coming years. It spells good news for the advancement of healthcare globally and the UAE," said Dr. Al Madani.
Samer Al Hallaq, President, AstraZeneca Gulf, said, "Millions of people in the Gulf are living with Type 2 diabetes due to a variety of factors. AstraZeneca is introducing a Robust Portfolio that includes three new classes in the NIAD (Non-Insulin Anti-diabetic) bringing innovation and scientific leadership that will benefit millions of diabetic patients across the globe, especially in the Gulf."
AstraZeneca Gulf has drawn up huge plans for its Diabetes Portfolio. The first in class SGLT-2 inhibitors was launched recently at the medical symposium in Dubai.
Currently approved in more than 41 countries globally, the new treatment was the first SGLT2 inhibitor to gain regulatory approval to treat Type 2 diabetes in Europe in November 2012. It was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of adults with Type 2 diabetes on January 8, 2014, supported by a robust clinical development programme consisting of 24 clinical studies evaluating safety and efficacy.
Al Hallaq said, "The significance of this treatment is that it works independently of insulin to help remove excess glucose from the body. The discovery of the hitherto unknown role of the kidney in treating diabetes will offer patients a solution to reducing blood glucose, weight and blood pressure."