New drug to control type 2 diabetes launched

Kwamina Tandoh, GNA

Accra Sept 5, GNA – AstraZeneca, a
Multi-National Pharmaceutical (Pty) Ltd operating in the country has introduced
‘Forxiga (dapagliflozin) 10mg tablets’, a new drug to control type 2 diabetes
onto the Ghanaian market.

Diabetes is said to be one of the rising
killer diseases globally, claiming one life every eight seconds and a limb lost
at every 30 seconds, according to reports from World Health Organisation and
the International Diabetes Federation.

Mr William Ofori, Country Manager of
AstraZeneca in Ghana who launched the new medicine, said Forxiga is a
prescription medicine used together with diet and exercise to lower blood sugar
in adults 18 years and older with type 2 diabetes.

He said it is the first medicine that works
in the kidney to flush away excess sugar via urine and belongs to a class of
medicines called SGLT2 (sodium-glucose cotransporter 2) inhibitors.

Dr Roberta Lamptey, Consultant Family
Physician from Korle Bu Polyclinic in a presentation about the benefits, said
the drug is a good source of glycaemic control with added benefits of weight
loss and reduced blood pressure.

Prince K Aryee, Product Specialist-CV/Met
of AstraZeneca in an interview with the Ghana News Agency said the medicine
must be taken once daily anytime of the day with or without meals by
prescription by a medical doctor.

Type 2 diabetes was previously called
non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) or adult-onset diabetes. Type 2
diabetes may account for about 90 per cent to 95 per cent of all diagnosed
cases of diabetes.

Risk factors for Type 2 diabetes include
obesity, family history of diabetes, prior history of gestational diabetes,
impaired glucose tolerance, physical inactivity.

Diabetes is caused by the failure of the
“power-house” of the cell to use glucose to produce energy. The “power-house”
is known as mitochondrial matrix.

People with diabetes fail to convert most of
the glucose into energy. Hence, glucose builds up in the blood and passes out
of the body as part of the urine.

Diabetes could cause serious health
complications including heart diseases, blindness, kidney failure, and
lower-extremity amputations.

In Ghana, about four million people may be
affected with diabetes mellitus, which is a group of metabolic diseases in
which a person has high blood sugar, a condition which could be attributed to a
situation where either the body does not produce enough insulin or because
cells do not respond to the insulin that is produced; but it could be
controlled and managed with little injections of insulin.

Dr Yacoba Atiase, Consultant
Endocrinologist, Internal Medicine, Korle Bu Teaching Hospital urged families
to conduct regular diabetes checks to ensure early detection and possible


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