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Comparative effectiveness of glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes treated with GLP-1 receptor agonists: a network meta-analysis of placebo-controlled and active-comparator trials

Authors Orme ME, Nguyen H, Lu JY, Thomas SA

Received 9 July 2016

Accepted for publication 9 August 2016

Published 29 March 2017 Volume 2017:10 Pages 111—122


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Ming-Hui Zou

Michelle E Orme,1 Hiep Nguyen,2 Jackie Y Lu,3 Susan A Thomas3

1ICERA Consulting Ltd, Swindon, UK; 2AstraZeneca, Wilmington, DE, 3AstraZeneca, Fort Washington, PA, USA

Background: Clinical studies of patients with type 2 diabetes show that GLP-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1 RAs) improve glycemic control and promote weight loss. We conducted a Bayesian network meta-analysis (NMA) of placebo- and active-controlled randomized trials to assess the comparative effectiveness of liraglutide, albiglutide, dulaglutide, and exenatide twice daily and once weekly, with a focus on glycemic control.
Materials and methods: We searched Medline, Embase, and the Cochrane Library (up to December 2014) for core registration programs for US-approved GLP-1 RAs. Patients reaching an A1C target of <7% were analyzed with a binomial model and change in A1C from baseline with a normal model. A covariate analysis assessed the impact of baseline A1C and treatment background on outcomes.
Results: The base-case NMA used 23 trials reporting A1C outcomes at ~6 month follow-up. The results, unadjusted and adjusted for baseline A1C, indicated that all GLP-1 RAs resulted in statistically significantly lower A1C at follow-up compared with placebo. The odds of reaching the <7% target were also significantly better compared with placebo. With dulaglutide, exenatide once weekly, and liraglutide, the absolute reduction in A1C at 6 months was 0.9%–1.4%, and was significantly better than exenatide twice daily. Albiglutide was not significantly different from exenatide twice daily. We estimate that ~50% of patients will meet the <7% A1C target within 6 months of commencing GLP-1 RAs.
Conclusion: This was a comprehensive assessment of the comparative effectiveness of GLP-1 RAs and A1C outcome. GLP-1 RAs are a viable addition to oral antidiabetes therapy, and dulaglutide, exenatide once weekly, and liraglutide are the most effective.

Keywords: type 2 diabetes, glucagon-like peptide-1-receptor agonists, GLP-1 RAs, network meta-analysis, comparative effectiveness

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