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STEP-ping Up the Game for Weight Management

More than two-thirds of adults in the United States are overweight or obese — thus, obesity is, by far, the most common preventable health-related problem seen in practice today. Obesity is associated with several comorbidities, and weight reduction leads to positive outcomes in many diseases. Studies have shown that a weight loss of 10% improves cardiovascular risk and outcomes. Unfortunately, current pharmacological options for weight loss do not consistently achieve a 10% weight loss.  Can semaglutide deliver?

Guest Panelists: Teney Mathew, PharmD, Jason Zupec, PharmD, BCACP, and Amy Heck Sheehan, PharmD, BCPS

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Will Oral Semaglutide PIONEER the Way to Lower Cardiovascular Risk?

Until recently, glucagon-like-peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists were only available as injectable products. Some clinicians and patients are reluctant to use injectable agents because they require additional patient education and can be intimidating.  If a GLP-1 receptor agonist were available in an oral dose form, it would be welcomed treatment option. But would the cardiovascular safety and benefits of oral GLP-1 receptor agonists be better, similar, or worse than their injectable siblings?

Guest Authors:  Sally Earl, PharmD, BCPS and Megan Supple, PharmD, BCACP

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Is there a Role for Fixed-Ratio Injectable Combinations in Type 2 Diabetes?

Pharmacotherapy for diabetes management has expanded in recent years with several new drug classes. Current guidelines recommend several options for patients who have not reached their goal A1c on metformin monotherapy including glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1 RAs) or basal insulin. However, if basal insulin is chosen as the first add-on treatment with metformin, the post-prandial blood glucose (PPG) often will remain elevated.  A combination product that includes both a basal insulin plus a GLP-1 RA has the potential to addresses both fasting blood glucose and PPG … and perhaps has some other advantages over using either product alone.

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Liraglutide: the new LEADER for second line therapy in diabetes management?

According to the current (2016) ADA guidelines, no agent is “the preferred” second line therapy after metformin monotherapy — instead the benefits, risks, cost, and convenience of each option should be considered and treatment should be individualized.  The liraglutide and cardiovascular outcomes in type 2 diabetes (LEADER) trial, which assessed the long-term cardiovascular effects of liraglutide, a GLP-1 receptor agonist, comes at an interesting time shortly after the publication of the empagliflozin, cardiovascular outcomes, and mortality in type 2 diabetes (EMPA-REG OUTCOME) trial.  Both studies found a cardiovascular benefit. How, then, will the results of these trials affect the algorithm for type 2 diabetes management and more importantly, clinical practice?

Lixisenatide and Cardiovascular Outcomes: The Burden of Proof

After cardiovascular (CV) safety concerns emerged with rosiglitazone use, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) now requires outcome studies to be performed for all new diabetes medications.   The first CV safety study (ELIXA) for a drug in the glucagon-like peptide 1-receptor agonist (GLP-1 RA) class – lixisenatide - was published in December 2015.  Lixisenatide is a once-daily injectable GLP-1 RA approved for use in Europe and awaits FDA approval in the United States.

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