Patient perspectives on once-weekly medications for diabetes

Diabetes Obes Metab. 2011 Feb;13(2):144-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1463-1326.2010.01327.x.


Aim: to examine patient beliefs, preferences and concerns regarding a once-weekly (QW) glucose-lowering medication option.

Methods: a total of 1516 adults with type 2 diabetes drawn from a national Chronic Illness Panel completed an anonymous online survey that assessed perceived attributes of QW therapy, willingness to take an injectable QW medication and patient characteristics that might influence their willingness, such as current perceived glycaemic control and diabetes quality of life (DQOL).

Results: positive attitudes regarding QW medication were common, with current injection users significantly more likely than non-injection users to view beneficial aspects: greater convenience, better medication adherence, improved quality of life (QOL) and a less overwhelming sense of treatment (in all cases, p < 0.001). In all, 46.8% reported that they would likely take an injectable QW medication if recommended by their physician, with current injection users more than twice as likely as non-injection users (73.1 vs. 31.5%; p < 0.001). Greater willingness to take QW medications was associated with poorer DQOL [injection users only; odds ratio (OR) = 1.37, p < 0.01] and poorer perceived glycaemic control (non-injection users only; OR = 1.24, p < 0.05). Concerns arose about consistency of dosage over time, potential forgetfulness and cost.

Conclusions: QW glucose-lowering medications are viewed positively by patients with type 2 diabetes, especially if they are current injection users or are dissatisfied with their current treatments or outcomes. Greater convenience, better medication adherence and improved QOL are commonly endorsed attributes. Clinicians may need to review both the positive attributes of QW medications as well as common patient concerns, when considering this option.

MeSH terms

  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / psychology*
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Male
  • Medication Adherence / psychology*
  • Medication Adherence / statistics & numerical data
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Hypoglycemic Agents