Huge change for millions of diabetics as once-a-week jab could replace daily medication
Millions of diabetics could be set for a huge change as a once-a-week jab may replace daily medication.
Those with type 2 diabetes often have to inject insulin every day which forms a large part of their daily routine.
Researches, however, have now discovered a “remarkable” alternative that could transform the lives of those who suffer with the condition.
A once-a-week jab could replace the daily version that’s currently prescribed on the NHS.
Diabetes affects around 4.7million people in the UK, with about 10 per cent having type 1 and 90 per cent having the more common type 2.
Type 1 diabetes is a genetic condition that often shows up early in life, whereas type 2 is mainly lifestyle-related and develops over a period of time.
The new, weekly insulin jab is said to be just as effective as the daily version and preferred among patients, researchers claim.
Doctor Athena Philis-Tsimikas, from the Scripps Whittier Diabetes Institute in California and lead investigator, said: “Once-weekly insulin would be a remarkable step forward in insulin innovation.”
It’s hoped this weekly jab will reduce the daily “burden” of diabetes treatment by “reducing the number of injections from 365 to 52 per year, without compromising management of blood sugar”.
If you have diabetes, it means your body doesn’t produce enough of the hormone insulin by itself, or there are problems with insulin supply.
Insulin helps the body to use and break down sugar, so medication is crucial in addressing a lack of the hormone.
If this goes untreated, the level of sugar in your blood would become dangerously high.
This can in turn can lead to long-term complications including blindness, kidney failure and heart disease in some cases.
It’s not always necessary for everyone who has type 2 diabetes to take insulin, but those who do have to face insulin injections before every meal.
The new weekly medicine is currently going through some of its final clinical trials, and the trials so far have involved more than 4,000 adults with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, the Sun reports.
The jab, which is known as insulin icodec, has been hailed by manufacturers as the “ideal insulin” for people living with type 2 diabetes.
Once a drug has passed all clinical trials, a manufacturer can then submit the drug to be approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) for use in the UK.
During the most recent trial, the new drug itself has been found to be effective at reducing blood sugar levels for up to one week.
The results of the trial were presented at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) Annual Meeting 2022.
Researchers did not discuss how the drug worked for people with type 1 diabetes – this group of people are so far always required to take the jab.
Meanwhile, last month, researchers from the University of British Columbia (UBC) claimed they have found a “breakthrough” insulin pill, which could do away with the jab altogether.
The pill would be different to conventional pills and won’t be swallowed – it dissolves when placed between the gum and cheek instead.