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Lead: Associate Professor Neale Cohen

Aboriginal Australians living in remote communities have a disproportionately high level of type 2 diabetes compared to non-Aboriginal Australians. Given the effects of social disadvantage and other barriers to care, these remote dwelling patients may not meet diabetes control targets. Improved medication use can improve diabetes control.

Exenatide-LAR is a new once weekly therapy for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. The sustained-release formula provides continuous drug release over time, allowing for therapeutic levels of exenatide with a single weekly injection.

Exenatide-LAR has previously been trialled in a number of countries for diabetes management. These studies have reported sustained glycaemic control and weight loss in the study groups receiving exenatide-LAR. It is currently unknown whether the addition of once weekly injection of exenatide can be introduced safely and lead to improvements in glycaemic control in remote Australian Indigenous communities.

The LOWER Sugar Study assessed  whether a model of care based around providing a weekly injection of exenatide-LAR in addition to once weekly monitoring of glucose levels and other therapies could improve clinical outcomes for Aboriginal people with poor diabetes control living in remote communities in Central Australia. The study has now been completed and published results are pending.

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