A new report has revealed that a third of people with type 2 diabetes are not receiving additional treatment when they need it.
People with type 2 diabetes that require extra medication, including insulin, were reported to have to wait more than three and a half years on average – leading healthcare professionals to say people with the condition have been “let down”.
Good control of blood sugar levels can help people with type 2 diabetes significantly reduce their risk of developing related complications – but this is not happening for many, due to “clinical inertia”, according to the recently published study in the Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism journal.
Clinical inertia is the term given for the delay of increasing medication needed by patients.
Having to wait for treatment when needed could put people with type 2 diabetes at risk of developing additional health conditions
The research was carried out by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and the Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) East Midlands.
Professor Kamlesh Khunti, Director of CLAHRC East Midlands and Professor of Primary Care Diabetes and Vascular Medicine at the University of Leicester based at the Leicester Diabetes Centre, said: “Of the 11,000 patients we studied, only a third of those needing further medication were actually given it.
“Clinical inertia is a global phenomenon, which is putting people with type 2 diabetes at further risk of preventable complications associated with the condition.
“Failure by healthcare professionals to intensify medication in the pursuit of tighter glycaemic control is due to a number of complex reasons related to patient and health care professional factors. However, we need to make great efforts to reverse these trends and improve patients reaching tight glucose targets from diagnosis of diabetes”
The study concluded that more should be done to avoid clinical inertia and people with type 2 diabetes should have their treatment increased where appropriate.