7 July 2010 | by Nick O'Donoghue
Patients will be able to claim an injectable protein, based on the venom of a lizard, to control type 2 diabetes through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).
Byetta (exenatide), a synthetic version of a protein found in the saliva of the Gila monster lizard, will be the first glucagon like peptide-1 (GLP-1) available on the PBS from 1 August.
Director Department of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism, Royal North Shore Hospital Dr Gregory Fulcher welcomed the addition of the treatment to the scheme.
“Levels of GLP-1 are lower in type 2 diabetes patients2. By directly mimicking the actions of GLP-1, Byetta upon ingestion of food, enhances glucose-dependent insulin secretion, suppresses postprandial glucagon secretion, reduces the amount of glucose released by the liver, slows gastric emptying and promotes satiety and reduces appetite.
“These multiple effects work together to improve overall glycaemic control,” he said.
While admitting the initial trials of Byetta looked promising, Chair of Rural and Remote Pharmacy at Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga, Prof Patrick Ball stressed the importance of behavioural change in halting the development on the disease.
“Like metformin, in addition to glycemic control it appears to trend patients toward weight loss or at least avoid weight gain.
“However all drug treatments for type 2 diabetes only slow the progress of the condition. Only diet and lifestyle change can stop or reverse it,” he told Pharmacy eNews.
There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)