Despite all the controversial remarks in the press we can still get to many of the answers and offer reasoned advice by following the publications from many excellent university research centres.

On the present topic I would recommend the review article published in Diabetes online on 17th April 2013 by Professor Steven Kahn of Washington State University. The main take home message is to try to achieve a balance in the current debate by reviewing all of the scientific evidence in parallel. In other words don’t focus too much on small unsubstantiated claims.

By doing this we find that there are well designed and larger studies that reassure us. Continuing prescriptions of Incretin based diabetic therapy does seem to be the appropriate way forward at this point in time. Also backing up this view are the results from a huge body of post marketing data and which have not identified a problem.

The requirement for long-term post marketing surveillance of all new diabetes medicines by the FDA provides us with a rigorous analysis of patients taking any diabetic therapy over the long-term.

None of the safety monitoring boards overseeing the studies on the Incretin based drugs has so far seen the need to prematurely terminate these studies on the grounds of seeing a higher incidence of pancreatitis or pancreatic cancer. The medication will therefore continue to be widely available and widely prescribed.

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