The last decade has witnessed the role of dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors in producing a conceptual change in early management of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) by shifting emphasis from a gluco-centric approach to holistically treating underlying pathophysiological processes. DPP-4 inhibitors highlighted the importance of acknowledging hypoglycaemia and weight gain as barriers to optimised care in T2DM. These complications were an integral part of diabetes management before the introduction of DPP-4 inhibitors. During the development of DPP-4 inhibitors, regulatory requirements for introducing new agents underwent substantial changes, with increased emphasis on safety. This led to the systematic collection of adjudicated cardiovascular (CV) safety data, and, where 95% confidence of a lack of harm could not be demonstrated, the standardised CV safety studies. Furthermore, the growing awareness of the worldwide extent of T2DM demanded a more diverse approach to recruitment and participation in clinical trials. Finally, the global financial crisis placed a new awareness on the health economics of diabetes, which rapidly became the most expensive disease in the world. This review encompasses unique developments in the global landscape, and the role DPP-4 inhibitors, specifically vildagliptin, have played in research advancement and optimisation of diabetes care in a diverse population with T2DM worldwide.
PMID: 29632609 [PubMed]