A DAILY pill that leeches excess blood sugar from the body has been recommended for use on the NHS to treat adults with diabetes.
Canagliflozin, which blocks a key salt-sugar transporter in the kidney in order to excrete excess blood sugar via the urine, has been approved by the Scottish Medicines Consortium to treat patients with Type 2 diabetes.
It is taken as a tablet once a day, before the patient's first meal, and will be used in collaboration with other glucose-lowering products including insulin.
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Professor Miles Fisher, a consultant physician at Glasgow Royal Infirmary, welcomed the decision.
He said: "Type 2 diabetes is one of the most significant health challenges facing Scotland today. Gaining access to new treatments like canagliflozin, is important in helping us to better manage this deadly epidemic."
Type 2 diabetes is associated with around 9,000 excess deaths each year in Scotland, mainly from cardiovascular disease, and is the biggest single cause of amputation, stroke, blindness and end stage kidney failure.
Meanwhile, the SMC also approved a new treatment for Hepatitis C.
Sofosbuvir can be used to treat all genotypes of Hep C, a virus that can infect and ravage the liver.
Clinical trials recorded cure rates of over 90 per cent among patients new to antiviral therapy. They were treated over a 12-week period in combination with other antiviral agents.
Sofosbuvir was licensed in January this year and is still awaiting approval from Nice for use in England and Wales.