Over the years, we've witnessed a big transition in the way type 2 diabetes is treated. In recent memory, few treatments have proven as successful as DPP-4 inhibitors, like Merck's Januvia and Bristol-Myers Squibb and AstraZeneca's Onglyza.
DPP-4 inhibitors work by increasing incretin levels which, in turn, inhibit the release of glucagon, and helps to reduce glucose levels and improve overall glycemic balance. This class of drug, like many of its predecessors, works in the liver and the pancreas to produce less glucose and more insulin. The downside of DPP-4 inhibitors, though, is that they've been linked to some potentially serious side effects, which brings into question the safety of their long-term use, including pancreatitis, kidney problems, and severe allergic reactions.