Background: Delay in the intensification of type 2 diabetes (T2DM) treatment after metformin monotherapy failure, or clinical inertia, is often observed among patients with poor glycemic control. Sitagliptin is used frequently as an add-on to metformin monotherapy among patients with T2DM. The objective of the study is to evaluate the association between early treatment intensification with sitagliptin and glycemic goal attainment among patients failing metformin monotherapy.

Methods: This retrospective database study of adult T2DM patients was conducted using the Quintiles Electronic Medical Record (EMR) database. The study population consisted of patients diagnosed with T2DM who failed to achieve A1c level of <7% on metformin monotherapy between January 20and June 2015. The study included two groups (1) those who did not receive treatment intensification within 3 months after metformin failure (non-early group), but were intensified with any oral anti-hyperglycemic agent between 4 and 12 months and (2) those who were intensified with sitagliptin within 3 months (early sitagliptin group). A Cox regression analysis was conducted to evaluate the association between sitagliptin use and A1c goal attainment within 12 months.

Results: We identified 2,852 patients aged ≥18 years with T2DM who failed metformin monotherapy, of which 362 patients were intensified with sitagliptin within 3 months and 2,490 patients were included in the non-early group. A multivariate Cox regression model adjusted for age, gender, BMI, smoking status, baseline A1c, comorbidities, and other nondiabetic medications showed that early sitagliptin therapy resulted in doubling the likelihood of achieving A1c goal attainment (HR 2.12; 95% CI 1.80-2.50) within 12 months compared to non-early group.

Conclusion: Early intensification with sitagliptin results in higher goal achievement levels among patients failing metformin monotherapy failure.


F. Ejzykowicz: Employee; Self; Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. J. Liu: Employee; Self; Merck & Co., Inc.. Employee; Spouse/Partner; Anthem, Inc.. Employee; Self; Janssen Scientific Affairs, LLC. S.S. Engel: Employee; Self; Merck & Co., Inc.. Stock/Shareholder; Self; Merck & Co., Inc. S. Rajpathak: Employee; Self; Merck & Co., Inc..

Readers may use this article as long as the work is properly cited, the use is educational and not for profit, and the work is not altered. More information is available at