Drugs like Wegovy and Jardiance Prescribing Lower for Minority Patients

(HealthDay News) — Pharmacy dispensing patterns for sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitor (SGLT2i) and glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor agonist (GLP1-RA) medications like Jardiance and Wegovy, respectively, show lower prescribing for minority patients; and the rate of SGLT2i prescriptions is low among patients with indications for therapy, according to two studies presented at the American Heart Association Epidemiology and Prevention/Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health 2024 Scientific Sessions, held from March 18 to 21 in Chicago.

Luis A. Rodriguez, Ph.D., M.P.H., from Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, California, and colleagues conducted a retrospective cohort study of adults with type 2 diabetes from six large U.S. care delivery systems to examine pharmacy dispensing of SGLT2i and GLP1-RA medications. The cohort included 681,823 patients, who were followed for a median of six years. The researchers found that from 2014 to 2022, there was an increase in the age-, sex-, and site-adjusted rate of annual pharmacy dispensing of SGLT2i and GLP1-RA medications (from 0.1 to 12.2 and from 0.3 to 3.8 percent, respectively). In the fully adjusted models, SGLT2i and GLP1-RA dispensing was lower for minorities compared with Whites. Jung-Im Shin, M.D., Ph.D., from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and colleagues characterized SGLT2i prescription patterns by indication for therapy in patients with and without diabetes in 2022 in the United States. A total of 760,337 patients with diabetes and 2,640,077 without diabetes were classified by their indications for SGLT2i therapy. The researchers found that SGLT2i medications were prescribed in 11.2, 11.2, and 7.1 percent with indication present, absent, or unknown, respectively, among those with diabetes, and in 2.5, 0.1, and 0.1 percent, respectively, among those without diabetes.

“Interventions are needed to increase uptake of guideline recommendations for SGLT2i use,” Shin said in a statement.

Several authors from the Rodriguez and Shin studies disclosed ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

What is Jardiance?

Jardiance is a medication that belongs to a class of drugs known as sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitors (SGLT2i). Jardiance has garnered attention for its effectiveness in managing type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and reducing the risk of cardiovascular events in patients with established cardiovascular disease. Its innovative mechanism of action sets it apart from traditional diabetes treatments, offering unique benefits in both glycemic control and cardiovascular protection.

Jardiance’s main function revolves around its inhibition of SGLT2, a protein found in the kidneys responsible for reabsorbing glucose from the urine back into the bloodstream. By blocking SGLT2, Jardiance prevents glucose reabsorption, leading to increased urinary excretion of glucose and subsequent reduction in blood sugar levels. This mechanism of action is independent of insulin secretion and sensitivity, making Jardiance effective even in patients with compromised pancreatic function or insulin resistance.

Despite its numerous benefits, Jardiance is not without considerations. Patients with a history of hypersensitivity to the drug or severe renal impairment may not be suitable candidates for treatment with Jardiance. Furthermore, as with any medication, healthcare providers should assess individual patient characteristics and comorbidities before initiating therapy with Jardiance.

What is Wegovy?

Wegovy, a recently approved medication by the FDA, has emerged as a groundbreaking treatment for obesity. It represents a significant advancement in the realm of weight management, particularly for individuals struggling with obesity and its associated health risks.

At its core, Wegovy is a synthetic version of a naturally occurring hormone called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1). GLP-1 is primarily released by the intestines in response to food intake. Its role involves regulating glucose levels, enhancing insulin secretion, and promoting satiety, or feelings of fullness. By mimicking the actions of GLP-1, Wegovy effectively influences several physiological mechanisms involved in appetite regulation and energy balance.

The cost of Wegovy may present a barrier to access for some individuals, as it is likely to be more expensive than conventional weight loss interventions. However, the long-term health benefits and potential reduction in healthcare costs associated with obesity-related complications may justify its use in appropriate candidates.

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