More than 50 medical centers associated with universities across the country are recruiting patients with type 2 diabetes to participate in a five-year study to determine the best prescription drug to treat high blood sugar. The study is being conducted by National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. A total of 5,000 participants is being sought.
Those who wish to join the clinical trial should have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes within the past 10 years and currently be taking the widely used anti-diabetes drug Metformin. Those who are accepted into the program will receive compensation for their travel, and free medication for the next five years.
All participants will be required to keep appointments with their regular physician. They will also undergo hour-long consultations every three months, during which the center’s staff will measure blood sugar levels and encourage lifestyle changes such as regular exercise and a healthy diet.
The study, called the Glycemia Reduction Approaches in Diabetes: A Comparative Effectiveness – or GRADE – targets the most effective diabetes treatment among four currently marketed medications – Glimepiride, Sitagliptin (Januvia), Liraglutide (Victoza), and Glargine (Lantus).
The study will also help flesh out side effects in patients treated with the medications – a concern in recent years as many diabetes treatments have been associated with serious health risks. For example, the brand name diabetes drugs Januvia and Victoza, both of which are being used in the study, have been linked to a painful inflammation of the pancreas known as acute pancreatitis. The drugs have also been liked to pancreatic cancer and thyroid cancer.
Source: Santa Fe Reporter