A NICE appraisal committee has said it is “minded not to recommend” Boehringer Ingelheim’s Jardiance for the treatment of  type 2 diabetes and has asked the manufacturer to provide it with more information.

In new draft guidance covering the use of Jardiance (empagliflozin) in combination with oral antidiabetic agents with or without insulin, NICE is seeking more information including revised estimations of the incremental cost-effectiveness ratios of the drug using a validated economic model, informed by the corrected results of meta-analyses and compared with relevant comparators, plus sensitivity analyses.

The Committee has requested this information to decide whether the drug is an effective use of NHS resources, said Carole Longson, director of the NICE Centre for Health Technology Evaluation. 

“There is good evidence which shows that empagliflozin is clinically effective, but we need more information to demonstrate that it is cost-effective when compared with other treatments the NHS already provides,” said Prof Longson.

“NICE already recommends several treatments, alongside lifestyle and dietary advice, specifically for managing blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. Each has its advantages and disadvantages that affect how suitable they are. New treatments, like empagliflozin, will help clinicians give people with type 2 diabetes the right treatment,” she went on, and added that type 2 diabetes is a major problem facing the NHS, so it is important to have varied arsenal to tackle it.

In 2013, there were around 2.7 million people in England with diabetes, and the charity Diabetes UK estimates that 90% of these people have type 2 diabetes. However, these are also many people with undiagnosed type 2 diabetes so the true number could be considerably higher.

Prevalence of the condition is increasing because of rising levels of obesity, decreased physical activity and increased life expectancy after diagnosis because of better cardiovascular risk protection. 

Jardiance belongs to the sodium glucose co-transporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibitor class of drugs, which work by blocking reabsorption of glucose in the kidney and increasing its excretion to lower blood sugar levels in adults with type 2 diabetes.

It received US Food and Drug Administration approval earlier this month, and gained its European Union marketing authorisation in May.