The worldwide epidemic of type 2 diabetes mellitus1 has spurred the development of numerous new medications directed at controlling glycemia. Since 1995, 6 new classes of medications (α-glycosidase inhibitors, meglitinides, thiazolidinediones, glucagon-like peptide analogues, amylin analogues, and dipeptidyl-peptidase IV inhibitors) have been approved for use in the United States. In addition to these new classes of antidiabetic medications, most of which will soon include more than 1 approved drug, new variations of older drugs, such as the insulin analogues, have been developed and brought to market. Finally, metformin hydrochloride, a biguanide that had been in popular use worldwide for 30 years, was approved for use in the United States in 1994, after concern regarding its potential for lactic acidosis was assuaged.
Nathan DM. Glycemic Management of Type 2 DiabetesHow Tight Is Right and How to Get There. Arch Intern Med. 2008;168(19):2064-2066. doi:10.1001/archinte.168.19.2064