Experts Divided Over Latest Diabetes Medications

A new anti-diabetes drug gives the people of India a new hope in fighting diabetes. Experts however are still divided about the medication’s effectiveness despite significant evidences of the pill’s power to stop diabetes by as much as 60 percent. Nevertheless, experts are still very hopeful for the drug, known as Rosiglitazone, to be what the diabetes capital of the world needs, and perhaps what could benefit other diabetes-laden countries as well.

India is known to have the highest rate of diabetes all over the world with over 40 million diabetics that are projected to double in the next three decades. A study conducted by the Diabetes Reduction Assessment with Medication (DREAM) has revealed in their most recent monthly publication through The Lancet that when Rosgilitazone, was administered to pre-diabetes patients for three years, the onset of diabetes is blocked by 62 percent. At the same time, 70 percent of the participants were able to normalize their glucose levels to healthy measures.

This could provide India a very significant protection against diabetes being aware that it is estimated that at least 10 million Indians would become diabetic within the coming five years. The results of the DREAM study suggests that with diabetes medications such as rosiglitazone combined with changes in lifestyle, members of the Indian population nearing the threshold of diabetes can prevent acquiring the disease. But not all experts are sold to these findings.

Some members of the American Diabetes Association are still quite adamant about the immediate prescription and dispensing of the drug to pre-diabetes patients as the treatment also shown some potentially serious side effects. The DREAM study itself reported some cases of cardiovascular problems related to the medication. While the side effects were not fatal and quite insignificant in number when compared to the large sample, some experts believe that long term studies should be conducted to ensure the drug’s safety.

Proponents of the treatment, particularly those living in India, see that there is limited time to wait for such safety studies considering that there are places where diabetic is already considered an epidemic. For example, in India, at least one out of every 10 individuals are already considered seriously pre-diabetic with their cases so severe that mere lifestyle changes are sent o be insignificant in stopping the disease from progressing. In such a scenario it is seen that a delay of immediate intervention (by using the drug) would pose great threats even with considerable diet changes and exercise.

Some diabetes experts on the other hand believe that promoting the drug would induce not only patients, but doctors as well to skip diet control and exercise as parts of diabetes prevention. The promises of the medications make it appear that they are the easy way for blocking the disease, when other factors such as physical activity and diet are still necessary. Such is why these experts still believe that patients and doctors still have to wait.

A recent international conference headed by world renowned diabetes experts held at Chennai addressed the debate over such medications versus lifestyle changes. Most agreed that lifestyle changes are still the most important factors in preventing diabetes and that drugs are there just to aid such modifications. What might be certain could still be that the use of the latest anti-diabetes medications is still pending.


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