Dulaglutide (Trulicity) for the treatment of type 2 diabetes

Introduction

Dulaglutide (trade name: Trulicity) has been approved in Germany since November 2014 for the treatment of type 2 diabetes when diet and exercise alone do not reduce blood sugar levels enough. Dulaglutide can be used alone or in combination with other blood-sugar-lowering drugs if they do not control blood sugar levels well enough on their own.

Diabetes is a metabolic disease that affects many parts of the body. In type 2 diabetes, the still produces enough insulin at first, but the body’s cells gradually lose the ability to absorb and use the insulin. If blood sugar levels can't be lowered enough by changes in diet and exercise, blood-sugar-lowering drugs are used.

Treatment with dulaglutide aims to avoid strong fluctuations in blood sugar levels and prevent problems caused by high and low blood sugar. It also aims to prevent as much as possible long-term complications that can result from blood sugar levels being too high.

Application

Dulaglutide is injected once a week using a disposable insulin pen. The drug is available in ready-to-use pens in two doses: 0.75 mg if used alone (monotherapy), or 1.5 mg if it’s combined with other blood-sugar-lowering drugs.

Other treatments

Type 2 diabetes can be treated with a number of different blood-sugar-lowering drugs, including metformin, liraglutide, empagliflozin and insulin. These are either used alone as monotherapy or in combination with other drugs.

Assessment

In 2020, the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG, Germany) looked into the advantages and disadvantages of dulaglutide compared with the standard treatments for adults with type 2 diabetes.

The manufacturer provided suitable data for the following groups:

  • People who weren't able to lower their blood sugar enough by doing exercise, changing their diet and using another blood-sugar-lowering medication (besides insulin).
  • People who weren't able to lower their blood sugar enough by doing exercise, changing their diet and using insulin.

More information

This information summarizes the main results of a review produced by the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG, Germany). This review was commissioned by the German Federal Joint Committee (G-BA) as part of the “early benefit assessment of medications.” On the basis of these reviews and the hearings received, the G-BA passed a resolution on the added benefit of dulaglutide (Trulicity).

Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG, Germany). Dulaglutide (type 2 diabetes mellitus) – Benefit assessment according to §35a Social Code Book V. Dossier assessment; Commission A20-09. April 29, 2020. (IQWiG reports; Volume 909).

IQWiG health information is written with the aim of helping people understand the advantages and disadvantages of the main treatment options and health care services.

Because IQWiG is a German institute, some of the information provided here is specific to the German health care system. The suitability of any of the described options in an individual case can be determined by talking to a doctor. informedhealth.org can provide support for talks with doctors and other medical professionals, but cannot replace them. We do not offer individual consultations.

Our information is based on the results of good-quality studies. It is written by a team of health care professionals, scientists and editors, and reviewed by external experts. You can find a detailed description of how our health information is produced and updated in our methods.

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Updated on May 20, 2020
Next planned update: 2023

Authors/Publishers:

Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG, Germany)

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