Research and development initiatives for better patient care and disease treatment are often times focused on ways to build upon existing treatments options. For the longest time, type 2 diabetics have turned to oral anti diabetic, metformin, for control of their blood sugar and cholesterol. Now, a team of researchers from Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) believes its efficacy can be enhanced by combining it with other medications.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is funding a breakthrough long-term study at BCM on the safety and efficacy of taking metformin with one of four medications approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for use with the drug. The study, called GRADE or “Glycemia Reduction Approaches in Diabetes: A Comparative Effectiveness Study,” has begun screening for potential participants, who must be an adult diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, and currently only on metformin to control their blood sugar.
BCM’s Dr. Ashok Balasubramanyam, a professor of medicine in the division of diabetes, endocrinology and metabolism, said that GRADE will be a pioneer comparative study to determine these four drugs long-term effect when administered with metformin. Enrolled participants of the study will maintain their metformin regimen and receive a second drug assigned at random. Over the course of 4 to 7 years, the researchers together with physicians will monitor the combination’s effects on the participants, as well as note any side effects. Hopefully, once the study is completed, the researchers will be able to recommend the most advantageous combination regimen for long-term use in type 2 diabetics.
Aside from receiving their diabetic medications for free during the entire course of the study, they will also receive proper compensation and be in close and regular contact with diabetes experts. Any necessary and routine laboratory tests and additional nutritional counseling will also be provided for free.
Those interested in enrolling in the study can contact BCM at 713-798-3625.
In other developments on type 2 diabetes treatments, the U.S. FDA has granted approval for Trulicity (dulaglutide). This treatment involves a weekly subcutaneous injection in conjunction with positive lifestyle modifications to improve blood sugar control.