Background: Patient-reported measures can be used to examine whether drug differences other than clinical efficacy have an impact on outcomes that may be important to patients. Although exenatide and insulin glargine appear to have similar efficacy for treatment of type 2 diabetes, there are several differences between the two treatments that could influence outcomes from the patient's perspective. The purpose of the current study was to examine whether the two drugs were comparable as assessed by patient-reported outcomes using data from a clinical trial in which these injectable medications were added to pre-existing oral treatment regimens.
Methods: Patients were randomized to either twice daily exenatide or once daily insulin glargine during a 26-week international trial. At baseline and endpoint, five patient-reported outcome measures were administered: the Vitality Scale of the SF-36, The Diabetes Symptom Checklist - Revised (DSC-R), the EuroQol EQ-5D, the Treatment Flexibility Scale (TFS), and the Diabetes Treatment Satisfaction Questionnaire (DTSQ). Change from baseline to endpoint was analyzed within each treatment group. Group differences were examined with General linear models (GLMs), controlling for country and baseline scores.
Results: A total of 549 patients with type 2 diabetes were enrolled in the trial, and current analyses were conducted with data from the 455 per protocol patients (228 exenatide and 227 insulin glargine). The sample was primarily Caucasian (79.6%), with slightly more men (55.2%) than women, and with a mean age of 58.5 years. Paired t-tests found that both treatment groups demonstrated statistically significant baseline to endpoint change on several of the health outcomes instruments including the DSC-R, DTSQ, and the SF-36 Vitality subscale. GLMs found no statistically significant differences between groups in change on the health outcomes instruments.
Conclusion: This analysis found that both exenatide and insulin glargine were associated with significant improvements in patient-reported outcomes when added to oral medications among patients with type 2 diabetes. Despite an additional daily injection and a higher rate of gastrointestinal adverse events, treatment satisfaction in the exenatide group was comparable to that of the glargine group, possibly because of weight reduction observed in patients treated with exenatide.