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NICE curbs GP use of glitazones

The number of patients with type 2 diabetes who are eligible to receive glitazones on the NHS will fall by 30 per cent under updated guidance released last week by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence.

The guidance limits the use of glitazones to patients who are unable to take a combination of metformin and a sulphonylurea because of intolerance or contraindication.

The appraisal committee concluded that glitazones were not cost-effective in patients where monotherapy with metformin or a sulphonylurea was tolerated but had failed to provide adequate glycaemic control.

Such patients should be given combined metformin-sulphonylurea therapy instead, the committee said.

NICE said the change would cut the number of eligible patients to around 50,000 a year.

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