Dubai: One person dies of diabetes-related complications every seven seconds and the UAE figures among the top five countries in the Middle East with the prevalence of the disease. To manage the epidemic, education and new drugs are essential, say experts.

Two new diabetes drugs, one of which is already available in the UAE market, are proving to be effective modern tools helping in overall glycaemic management and improving the quality of patient lives in diabetes therapy

This was disclosed at the Third Middle East Diabetes Conference organised by Boehringer Ingelheim on the sidelines of the Arab Health Congress 2015.

The educational session “Directions in Diabetes — Exploring Options for Patient Care” had expert endocrinologists present the action of DPP-4 enzyme inhibitors and introduced the relatively new Sodium Glucose CoTransporter (SGLT2) inhibitor class of diabetes therapy and presented physician results from the global IntroDia survey.

Dr Abdul Razzaq Al Madani, Consultant Endocrinologist and Physician Dubai Hospital – Dubai Health Authority and Chairman of the Emirates Diabetes Society, UAE, said: “With the introduction of newer therapies such as DPP-4 and SGLT2 which support individualised plans for patients, achieving glycaemic control has become easier for patients.”

Making a presentation on the new SGLT2 inhibitor, Dr Saud Al Sifri, Chairman of Endocrinology and Diabetes Department at Al Hada Armed Forces Hospitals, Saudi Arabia, demonstrated its efficacy as it did not address the pancreas like other traditional drugs but worked in the kidneys to reduce glucose reabsorption of sugar. “Diabetes manifests differently in people and can affect the heart, the brain, the peripheral nerves, cause retinopathy or neuropathy. This new drug does not affect the glucagon or insulin levels but works with the kidneys, reducing reabsorption of glucose in the blood stream and has had good outcomes so far.”

How physicians interacted with their Type 2 Diabetes (T2D) patients had a very significant impact on the management of the condition as the decision to adhere to change in patterns of diet and exercise and medication was an emotional decision for the patient. The efficacy of the treatment can depend on the interaction a physician has on his patient. Boehringer Ingelheim also introduced the first physician results from IntroDia™, which included insights from more than 10,000 patients with Type 2 diabetes and more than 6,700 treating physicians, across 26 countries. From the Middle East, 60 physicians from Saudi Arabia and UAE participated in the survey.