The UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has recommended Eli Lilly’s tirzepatide (Mounjaro) for the treatment of adult patients with inadequately controlled type 2 diabetes. 

According to NICE’s final draft guidance, the injection is indicated for weekly usage in combination with diet and exercise.

Clinical trials show that tirzepatide usage resulted in a substantial decline in both blood sugar levels and body weight, in comparison with insulin therapy, semaglutide or a placebo. 

Data also showed that tirzepatide aided between 81% and 97% of individuals in attaining improved glucose control, and 54% to 88% also showed a 5% or greater reduction in body weight. These figures were substantially higher than the comparators.

The independent NICE committee provided a positive recommendation for tirzepatide after conducting additional assessments and modelling on clinical and cost-efficiency data provided by Lilly.

NICE noted that 180,000 individuals with poorly managed type 2 diabetes will now have the option to choose the new treatment.

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NICE medicines evaluation director Helen Knight stated: “There are very few new medicines being developed to treat difficult-to-manage type 2 diabetes. Our committee recognised the potential tirzepatide has to provide an effective and good-value treatment option for all those living with poorly controlled type 2 diabetes.

“With its associated additional health risks, [the condition] is a huge challenge for those living with it and for the NHS. This recommendation will offer fresh hope for many and provide value for money for the taxpayer.”

A final guidance on offering the treatment option will be made available on 11 October 2023. 

After the publication of the final guidance, tirzepatide will be offered by the National Health Service within 90 days contingent on its supply by the manufacturer.