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Daily pill to boost treatment of those suffering from Type 2 diabetes

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.

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.

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