J&J, Lilly and AZ diabetes medications get another helping of real-world heart benefits

Last year, real-world data showed that SGLT2 diabetes drugs could significantly cut heart failure hospitalizations and all-cause deaths. And now, a new analysis shows they can also cut the rate of major cardiovascular events in patients new to treatment.

High-risk diabetes patients who started on Johnson & Johnson’s Invokana, Eli Lilly and Boehringer Ingelheim’s Jardiance or AstraZeneca’s Farxiga saw their combined risk of heart attack, stroke and cardiovascular death plummet by 33%, according to a study based on data from the U.S. Department of Defense Military Health System and recently published in the journal Circulation.

Patients’ risk of death or hospitalization for heart failure plunged by 43%, too.

The data back up results Jardiance and Invokana have already posted in the clinic. In 2015, Jardiance became the first diabetes med to prove it could provide a heart benefit, delivering a 38% reduction in cardiovascular death—data that later went on its official FDA label. And over the summer, Invokana posted up with its own heart-helping results.

The class previously put up some solid real-world numbers, too; in a 300,000-patient study dubbed CVD-Real, the trifecta of medications showed it could slash heart failure hospitalization rates by 39% compared with other diabetes classes. All-cause deaths sank by 51%.

Both real-world analyses could help the class as it strives for growth, which will be important to all three medications’ sales hauls. Lilly last year warned repeatedly that SGLT2 drugs' growth would slow, but as company diabetes president Enrique Conterno said in an interview at January’s J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference, “we think we have all the dynamics to make that momentum shift.”


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