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SGLT2 Inhibitors Estimated to Be Cost-Effective for Type 2 Diabetes

October 15, 2020

Sodium–glucose cotransporter‐2 inhibitors (SGLT2i) appear to be cost-effective in patients with type 2 diabetes, most notably in those at higher risk of complications. Researchers published their findings online in Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism

“The economic burden of diabetes is driven by the management of vascular complications,” wrote an international teach of researchers. “SGLT2i have demonstrated reductions in cardiovascular and renal complications, including hospitalization for heart failure and renal disease progression, in randomized clinical trials.”

The study tapped evidence from clinical trials and real-world studies to gauge the cost-effectiveness of the SGLT2i class compared with standard of care in patients with type 2 diabetes. The type 2 diabetes model used in the study considered hospitalization for heart failure, myocardial infarction, stroke, end-stage renal disease, and all-cause mortality over a lifetime. The economic analysis took the perspective of a health care payer in the United States, United Kingdom, and China. 

The findings consistently linked SGLT2i with increased treatment costs but reduced complication costs, as well as gains in quality-adjusted life years stemming from differences in projected life expectancy, cardiovascular and microvascular morbidity, and weight loss, researchers reported.

For the overall population in the United States, United Kingdom, and China, SGLT2I were cost-saving or cost-effective, estimated suggested. Cost-effectiveness was highest in patient subgroups at increased risk of complications. 

“The findings highlight the need to take into account cost savings from reducing common, morbid, and preventable type 2 diabetes mellitus complications when considering the cost of diabetes medications.” 

Jolynn Tumolo 


McEwan P, Bennett H, Khunti K, et al. Assessing the cost-effectiveness of sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 inhibitors in type 2 diabetes mellitus: A comprehensive economic evaluation using clinical trial and real-world evidence [published online ahead of print, 2020 Aug 3]. Diabetes Obes Metab. 2020;10.1111/dom.14162. doi:10.1111/dom.14162

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