10th November 2017, Volume 130 Number 1465

Peter Murray, Hew Norris, Scott Metcalfe, Bryan Betty, Vanessa Young, Bronwyn Locke

Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is a significant and costly public health issue in New Zealand.1–4 Māori and Pacific people bear a disproportionate burden of T2DM-related disease, contributing to ethnic…

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Summary

Diabetes is a major health issue in New Zealand. In New Zealand, we have clear guidelines on how to treat diabetes. These guidelines state that if medication is to be started, metformin should be started first, followed by sulfonylureas. This research shows that these guidelines are being well followed in New Zealand, particularly when compared with other countries.

Abstract

Aim

Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is a significant public health issue in New Zealand. Effective management and glycaemic control is critical for reducing diabetes-related complications. Treatment guidelines are well established in New Zealand. Using dispensing data as a proxy for prescribing data, this paper aims to describe the pattern of first- and second-line antidiabetic agent (AA) dispensing for T2DM in New Zealand and assess adherence with treatment guidelines.

Method

Analysis of national dispensing data for AA medications using the Pharmaceutical Collection database from 2007/08 to 2015/16.

Results

Metformin monotherapy remains the most commonly prescribed first-line T2DM medication prescribed, accounting for 85% of initial agents prescribed. Sulfonylureas are the most common second-line agents used, accounting for 70% of all second-line agents.

Conclusion

There is a high degree of adherence with the T2DM treatment guidelines in New Zealand.

Author Information

Peter Murray, Medical Directorate, PHARMAC, Wellington; Hew Norris, Analysis, Corporate Directorate, PHARMAC, Wellington; Scott Metcalfe, Medical Directorate, PHARMAC, Wellington;
Bryan Betty, Medical Directorate, PHARMAC, Wellington; Vanessa Young, Operations Directorate, PHARMAC, Wellington; Bronwyn Locke, Engagement and Implementation Directorate, PHARMAC, Wellington.

Correspondence

Peter Murray, PHARMAC, 9/40 Mercer Street, Wellington 6011.

Correspondence Email

peter.murray@pharmac.govt.nz

Competing Interests

The authors are (or were at the time of writing) employees of PHARMAC; the views expressed do not necessarily represent those of PHARMAC.

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