Changes in oral antidiabetic prescriptions and improved glycemic control during the years 2002-2011 in Japan (JDDM32)

J Diabetes Investig. 2014 Sep;5(5):581-7. doi: 10.1111/jdi.12183. Epub 2013 Dec 1.


Aims/introduction: Six kinds of oral antidiabetic drugs (OADs), including the new dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP-4) inhibitors, are available. The present study aimed to define trends within the prescribing patterns of OADs, as well as changes in glycemic control in Japan over a 10-year period from 2002 to 2011.

Materials and methods: We carried out a cross-sectional study using data of type 2 diabetes mellitus patients from 24 clinics for 2002, 2005, 2008 and 2011. OAD use was analyzed combined with clinical data.

Results: Sulfonylureas (SUs) were the most commonly used OAD, but their use for monotherapy markedly decreased over the study period. Biguanides (BGs) were the second most commonly used OAD, and their prescribing rate increased both for mono- and combination therapy. DPP-4 inhibitors (DPP-4I), released in 2009, were the third most commonly prescribed OAD in 2011 both for mono- and combination therapy. Among combination therapies, two OADs were mostly prescribed, but the use of three OADs and four OADs in 2011 was two- and 14.8-fold those in 2002. These trends were accompanied by an improvement in average glycated hemoglobin from 7.5 ± 1.2% in 2002 to 7.1 ± 0.9% in 2011.

Conclusions: The OAD prescribing trend has moved away from monotherapy with SUs and toward combination therapies to achieve better glycemic control. Increased use of BGs and DPP-4I was predominant in 2011. These trends were accompanied by an improvement of the glycated hemoglobin level.

Keywords: Glycemic control; Oral antidiabetic drugs; Type 2 diabetes mellitus.