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EU approves combined use of insulin pens for type 2 diabetes

Tresiba and Victoza can now be prescribed together, in combination with metformin, following EU ruling

The European Commission (EC) has approved the combined use of two insulin pens for type 2 diabetes.

Tresiba (insulin degludec) and Victoza (liraglutide) can now be prescribed together, in combination with oral treatment metformin, said Novo Nordisk, which manufacturers both products.

Tresiba, a once-daily, long-acting insulin, was first approved as a treatment for type 2 diabetes in 2013 for use on its own or in combination with oral treatments.

It can now also be prescribed with glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists, Novo Nordisk said last week (May 12).

EC approvial followed a recommendation from the European Medicines Agency, which looked at data from four trials

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Victoza, a GLP-1 agonist, was approved for use with oral treatments in 2009 and can now be combined with long-acting insulins.

The EC made the decision following a recommendation from the European Medicines Agency in March, which reviewed data from four clinical trials.

The trials found that a combination of Tresiba and metformin produced significantly lower rates of hypoglycaemia and a greater reduction in body weight and glycosylated haemoglobin(HbA1c) when combined with Victoza than when used with a single dose of short-acting NovoRapid, the manufacturer said.

Steve Bain, professor of medicines at Swansea University's college of medicine, said expanding the combinations in which these products could be used would give patients and healthcare professionals "greater flexibility" for personalising treatments and would help patients reach their glycaemia targets.

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