The following post is taken from the paper
ConsumerReportHealth.org/BestBuyDrugs and was published June 2011.
It is a much easier read than the papers referenced in the post:
For oral diabetic medications the paper lists the following averages:
HbA1c Reduction (% point)
LDL Change (mg.dL)
HDL Change (mg/dL)
Triglyceride Change (mg/dL)
Risk of Hypoglycaemia (% of patients)
Weight Change (lbs)
Monthly Cost ($)*
** NHS costs (albeit 2009) are given in:
The evaluation of the oral diabetes medications for Type 2 diabetics found the following:
1. Newer drugs are no better. One drug, metformin, have been around for more than a decade and works just as well as newer medicines.
2. Newer drugs are no safer. All diabetes pills have the potential to cause adverse effects, minor and serious.
3. Newer drugs are more expensive. The newer diabetes medicines cost many times more than the older ones.
4. Taking two diabetes drugs can improve blood sugar control. Two or more drugs might be necessary, but this raises the risk of adverse effects and increases cost.
Taking effectiveness, safety, side effects, dosing, and cost into consideration, the following are the Consumer Reports Best Buy Drugs:
Metformin or Metformin Sustained Release — alone or with glipizide or glimepiride
Glipizide or Glipizide Sustained Release — alone or with metformin
Glimepiride — alone or with metformin
All of these medicines are low-cost generics.The paper advises try metformin first unless your health status prevents it. If it doesn’t bring your blood glucose into normal range, try adding glipizide or glimepiride.