The National Institute of Care and Health Excellence (NICE) has recommended MSD’s Steglatro (ertugliflozin) for use within the NHS, for the treatment of adults with type II diabetes.

The recommendation for the sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 (SGLT-2) inhibitor is as monotherapy in adults with type II diabetes that cannot tolerate metformin, or as part of a dual therapy regimen in combination with metformin.

The treatment offers a new option for people with the disorder with a 20% lower acquisition cost than other SGLT-2 inhibitors, with the price of a once daily dose costing just £29.40 for 28 days' treatment.

The decision is based on results from the VERTIS-MONO, VERTIS-MET and VERTIS-FACTORIAL trials, in which the drug showed significant change in HbA1c from baseline to week 26.

Louise Houson, managing director, MSD UK & Ireland, commented on the approval, “Ertugliflozin adds to MSD’s existing portfolio of treatments for diabetes, an area we have worked in for more than a decade since the launch of Januvia (sitagliptin) in 2007. The decision by NICE shows MSD’s commitment to meeting the needs of a growing population of people with type II diabetes.

We recognise the financial burden that an increasing number of people living with chronic conditions, such as type II diabetes, puts on resources and we continue to work closely with NICE and the NHS to increase access to new treatments which could improve the standard of care, while trying to lessen the economic pressures often associated with them.”

Currently almost 3.7 million people in the UK live with a diagnosis of diabetes, approximately 7% of the population - a number that has more than doubled in the last 20 years.