Why People with Diabetes May Need to ‘Intensify’ Their Treatments

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Despite the number of diabetes treatment options available today, researchers are saying a significant number of patients with type 2 diabetes are not seeing any significant improvements in their blood sugar levels.
Referred to as “clinical inertia” in a recently published report funded by pharmaceutical giant Sanofi-Aventis, researchers state that “the proportion of people with type 2 diabetes who fail to achieve glycemic goals continues to rise.”
Clinical inertia is defined by a delay in treatment intensification despite a patient’s persistently high blood glucose levels.
In other words, the patient isn’t getting any healthier and their healthcare team isn’t making changes to their treatment protocol.
“Clinical inertia prolongs the duration of patients’ hyperglycemia,” explains the report, “which subsequently puts them at increased risk of diabetes-associated complications and reduced life expectancy.”
The study authors add that clinical inertia is actually the result of a complex interaction between patient, healthcare providers, and the overall healthcare system that comes with many barriers (such as the financial burdens to patients).They add the lack of cohesive effort to help improve a patient’s health creates an even greater challenge.
Obstacles to effective treatment
One of the world’s most prescribed drugs is the oral antidiabetic diabetes (OAD) drug metformin. It has been prescribed to more than 120 million patients worldwide.
However, metformin also has one of the lowest patient adherence rates, largely due to its uncomfortable digestive side effects.