The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has now published final draft guidelines endorsing NHS use of AstraZeneca's Forxiga for treating type II diabetes as part of a 'triple therapy'.

In other words, if the recommendations are mandated, then patients whose blood sugar levels remain uncontrolled despite already taking taking two drugs, then Forxiga (dapagliflozin) can be added as a third.

Two other medicines, Jardiance (empagliflozin) and Invokana (canagliflozin), are already routinely available on the NHS options for triple therapy, and all three are now recommended on their own, if a person can't use metformin or other specific drugs, or in combination with metformin.

"Tailoring treatments for type II diabetes to each person's individual needs is essential and having a range of drug options makes this easier," noted Professor Carole Longson, director of the NICE centre for health technology evaluation.

"We've been able to speed up this appraisal, going straight to final draft stage because we plan to recommend dapagliflozin. This should help final guidance to be published sooner, and so benefit people more quickly".

Almost 3.5 million people in the UK have diabetes, around 90 percent of which have the type II form, according to the latest figures from Diabetes UK.