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Nationwide trends in glucose-lowering drug use, Denmark, 1999–2014

Authors Christensen DH, Rungby J, Thomsen RW

Received 20 May 2016

Accepted for publication 6 July 2016

Published 14 October 2016 Volume 2016:8 Pages 381—387


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Vera Ehrenstein

Diana Hedevang Christensen,1 Jørgen Rungby,2,3 Reimar Wernich Thomsen1

1Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark; 2Department of Pharmacology, University of Aarhus, Aarhus, Denmark; 3Department of Endocrinology, Gentofte University Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark

Purpose: The objective of this study was to examine nationwide population-based time trends in the utilization of all glucose-lowering drugs in Denmark from 1999 to 2014.
Methods: Based on nationwide data from the Register of Medicinal Products Statistics, we retrieved sales statistics on glucose-lowering drugs and reported the total number of users and the prevalence of users per 1,000 inhabitants in 1-year intervals for all glucose-lowering drug classes.
The annual prevalence of glucose-lowering drug users increased more than twofold from 19 per 1,000 inhabitants in 1999 (n=98,362) to 41 per 1,000 in 2014 (n=233,230). Metformin use increased more than sevenfold during the period and was used by 30 of 1,000 inhabitants in 2014, while the prevalence of insulin use increased 1.8-fold to 13 per 1,000 in 2014. After peaking in 2007, use of sulfonylurea halved to 6 per 1,000 in 2014. Newer drug classes including the glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor agonists, the dipeptidylpeptidase-4 inhibitors, and the sodium–glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitors had reached a considerable position by 2014, with 4 per 1,000, 6 per 1,000, and 0.8 per 1,000 inhabitants, respectively; however, the use of glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor agonists and sodium–glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitors in elderly people remained low. Thiazolidinediones decreased to virtually no use (0.03 per 1,000) in 2014.
Conclusion: The use of glucose-lowering drugs has doubled during 1999–2014. The pattern of glucose-lowering drug use has changed substantially reflecting the recommendations of metformin as first-line treatment. The newer glucose-lowering drug classes have been well received.

Keywords: drug utilization, registries, diabetes mellitus, antidiabetic drugs

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