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Diabetologists reject charge of protectionism

I would like to correct any confusion caused by the misleading and inevitably provocative headline relating to the information we want to share with our primary care colleagues ('Diabetologists try to block GP use of new diabetes drugs', news).

Our advice related to two new classes of therapy for diabetes, and the particular need for caution and specialist engagement as a result of the learning curve we are following with exenatide - based on our recent audit of thousands of patients on this relatively new expensive therapy.

Inevitably, with time and experience, there will be greater use of these injectable therapies in primary care - as is the case with insulin.

Unfortunately, your reporter blurred that message with our position on gliptins - an oral class of agents that would have a particular role in primary care, but in our view, in more selected cases than recommended by NICE.

There is no expectation that specialists would operate protectionism.

The successful delivery of diabetes care will come through integration between all sectors providing services for people with diabetes and the ABCD is committed to working closely with primary care groups.

One of the greatest needs for a collaborative approach to diabetes care is to ensure that misconceptions about physicians working against one another are dispelled.

From Dr Peter Winocour, chair, Association of British Clinical Diabetologists

Editor's note

Our story made it clear that the ABCD's audit was of the injectable diabetes therapy exenatide. The first line of the association's own press release makes it clear its recommendations apply to both exenatide and the oral gliptins, stating: 'The ABCD have cautioned against indiscriminate use of new classes of [diabetes] medication'.

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