The online home for the primary care professionals managing patients with cardiovascular disease, diabetes and related diseases.

Qtern: new type 2 diabetes drug combination

Qtern: new type 2 diabetes drug combination

Publication date: Sunday, 12 March 2017
Contributor(s): Jeremy Bray

A new fixed dose combination of saxagliptin (Onglyza) and dapagliflozin (Forxiga) is now available for use in adults with type 2 diabetes.
The new combination called Qtern combines 5mg of saxagliptin, a dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitor, with 10mg of dapagliflozin, a sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitor. DPP-4 inhibitors and SGLT2 inhibitors are commonly prescribed together as they have complementary mechanisms of action. Qtern is a tablet that is taken once a day.

Approved by EU regulators in July, the combination is licensed for adults with type 2 diabetes inadequately controlled by metformin and/or sulphonylurea plus saxagliptin or dapagliflozin. Qtern is also licensed for use in patients already being treated with the free combination of the components.

NICE will not be appraising Qtern, so any decisions on its use in NHS England will be at local level. The Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) and All Wales Medicines Strategy Group (AWMSG) will assess the drug sometime this year.

View from the Editor

PCCJ editor Professor Mike Kirby said, “In diabetes a number of drugs have to be prescribed to achieve the desired therapeutic goal.  Management requires the combination of drugs with different mechanisms of action. Multimorbidity, often present in older populations, increases the number of drug intakes per day while the ability to do so declines. It appears thus plausible that a fixed combination of drugs, by decreasing the number of drug intakes per day, may lead to an improved compliance and eventually to an improvement of clinical endpoints. This combination looks useful for clinicians and patients alike.”

More information
Qtern summary of product characteristics  available at
MIMS summary of Qtern at

Topics covered:
Category: Have You Heard
Edition: Volume 2 Number 2 PCCJ Online 2017
Contributor(s): Jeremy Bray

Article search and filter