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Adherence to antihyperglycemic medications and glucagon-like peptide 1-receptor agonists in type 2 diabetes: clinical consequences and strategies for improvement

Authors Giorgino F, Penfornis A, Pechtner V, Gentilella R, Corcos A

Received 15 September 2017

Accepted for publication 28 February 2018

Published 7 May 2018 Volume 2018:12 Pages 707—719


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Johnny Chen

Video abstract presented by Francesco Giorgino.

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Francesco Giorgino,1 Alfred Penfornis,2 Valeria Pechtner,3 Raffaella Gentilella,4 Antonella Corcos4

1Department of Emergency and Organ Transplantation, Section of Internal Medicine, Endocrinology, Andrology, and Metabolic Diseases, University of Bari Aldo Moro, Bari, Italy; 2Service d’Endocrinologie, Diabétologie, et Maladies Métaboliques, Centre Hospitalier Sud-Francilien de Corbeil-Essonnes, Université Paris-Sud, Orsay, France; 3Lilly Diabetes, Eli Lilly & Company, Neuilly-sur-Seine, France; 4Eli Lilly Italia, Sesto Fiorentino, Italy

Abstract: Adherence to antihyperglycemic medications is often suboptimal in patients with type 2 diabetes, and this can contribute to poor glycemic control, increased hospitalization, and the development of diabetic complications. Reported adherence rates to antihyperglycemics vary widely among studies, and this may be related to differences in methodology for measuring adherence, patient populations, and other factors. Poor adherence may occur regardless of the specific regimen used and whether therapy is oral or injectable, and can be especially common in chronic, asymptomatic conditions, such as type 2 diabetes. More convenient drug-administration regimens and advances in formulations and delivery devices are among strategies shown to improve adherence to antihyperglycemic therapy, especially for injectable therapy. This is exemplified by technological developments made in the drug class of glucagon-like peptide 1-receptor agonists, which are a focus of this narrative review. Dulaglutide, albiglutide, and prolonged-release exenatide have an extended duration of action and can be administered once weekly, whereas such agents as liraglutide require once-daily administration. The convenience of once-weekly versus once-daily administration is associated with better adherence in real-world studies involving this class of agent. Moreover, provision of a user-friendly delivery device has been shown to overcome initial resistance to injectable therapy among patients with type 2 diabetes. This suggests that recent innovations in drug formulation (eg, ready-to-use formulations) and delivery systems (eg, single-dose prefilled pens and hidden, ready-attached needles) may be instrumental in encouraging patient acceptance. For physicians who aim to improve their patients’ adherence to antihyperglycemic medications, it is thus important to consider the patient’s therapeutic experience (treatment frequency, drug formulation, delivery device). Better adherence, powered by recent technological advances in the delivery of glucagon-like peptide 1-receptor agonists, may thus lead to improved clinical outcomes in type 2 diabetes.

Keywords: type 2 diabetes mellitus, adherence, compliance, glucagon-like peptide 1-receptor agonists

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