A patient-centred approach to treatment with incretin-based agents in patients with type 2 diabetes


Correspondence: S. A. Cornell, Chicago College of Pharmacy, Midwestern University, 555 W. 31st Street - AH 355, Downers Grove, IL 60515, USA. Tel.: +1 630 515 6191; fax: +1 630 515 6103; e-mail: scorne@midwestern.edu


What is known and Objective

The 2012 position statement from the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) recommends a haemoglobin A1c level of <7% for most patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D). Initial therapy consists of lifestyle changes plus metformin, with an emphasis on a patient-centred approach to management. Addition of incretin-based therapy is recommended as an add-on after metformin failure, and later on in combination with basal insulin. Basal insulin is recommended from the onset in patients with A1c ≥10%. The possibility of incorporating incretin-based therapy in the patient-centred approach will be investigated both in the literature and clinical experience.


Incretin-based therapy targets multiple dysfunctional organ systems in T2D and provides sustained glycaemic control, with extraglycaemic benefits and low risk of hypoglycaemia. To initiate an incretin-based therapy that best fits an individual patient's needs, the patient's A1c level, preference and comorbid conditions should be considered along with any drug safety and adherence-related issues.

What is new and Conclusion

There is good evidence to support the patient-centred approach to T2D management. This approach allows patient treatment goals and personal preferences to be matched with the clinical profile(s) of one or more agents to formulate a treatment plan that can best achieve the goals. Incretin-based therapies are an important class of agents to consider after metformin monotherapy failure and later in combination with basal insulin. By matching patient needs with the clinical profiles of the various treatment options, pharmacists can actively engage in the practice of patient-centred care and management.