Older Type 2 Diabetes Drugs Work Well

While new diabetes drugs have been introduced on the market, recent studies have found that the older drugs, such as second generation sulfonylureas and metformin (sold under the brand names Glucophage, Diabex, Diaformin, Fortamet, Riomet, Glumetza, and others) work just fine in controlling blood glucose for most patients.

These older drugs are less expensive, and, according to researchers, a drug such as Metformin appears to have the best benefit, particularly when risk is accounted for.

Metformin was first approved by the FDA for diabetes treatment in 1994 and marketed in the United States for diabetes treatment in 1995 by Bristol Myers Squibb under the brand name Glucophage.

The study did not examine the effectiveness of the most recent class of anti-diabetes drugs called incretin mimetics, such as exenatide (Byetta) and sitagliptin (Januvia).


  1. walter says

    I think this is true with a lot of new drugs. There’s so much money to be made for a new drug, or a new use of an old drug, that pharma companies really push an incremental benefit in order to get something approved as new, which they can then sell exclusively without competition for a period of years.

    However, not only are the new drugs often much more costly, but their benefits are often just slightly better (if at all), and that’s without considering the negative side effects, which for new drugs is not always apparent until after several years of use.

    Personally, I would not take a new drug until it’s been on the market for a while.

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