Management of Type 2 Diabetes in Developing Countries: Balancing Optimal Glycaemic Control and Outcomes with Affordability and Accessibility to Treatment

Abstract: With the growing prevalence of type 2 diabetes, particularly in emerging countries, its management in the context of available resources should be considered. International guidelines, while comprehensive and scientifically valid, may not be appropriate for regions such as Asia, Latin America or Africa, where epidemiology, patient phenotypes, cultural conditions and socioeconomic status are different from America and Europe. Although glycaemic control and reduction of micro- and macrovascular outcomes remain essential aspects of treatment, access and cost are major limiting factors; therefore, a pragmatic approach is required in restricted-resource settings. Newer agents, such as sodium–glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitors and glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor agonists in particular, are relatively expensive, with limited availability despite potentially being valuable for patients with insulin resistance and cardiovascular complications. This review makes a case for the role of more accessible second-line treatments with long-established efficacy and affordability, such as sulfonylureas, in the management of type 2 diabetes, particularly in developing or restricted-resource countries.