An Indirect Comparison of Basal Insulin Plus Once-Weekly Semaglutide and Fully Optimised Basal–Bolus Insulin in Type 2 Diabetes

Ildiko Lingvay, Andrei Mircea Catarig, Jack Lawson, Barrie Chubb, Anders Gorst-Rasmussen, Lyndon Marc Evans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: To date, there have been few head-to-head comparisons between semaglutide once-weekly (OW) and short-acting meal-time insulin in participants with type 2 diabetes (T2D) treated with basal insulin and requiring treatment intensification. This indirect comparison evaluated the effects of these regimens on glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c), body weight, hypoglycaemia, and other clinically relevant outcomes. Methods: A post-hoc, unanchored, individual participant data meta-analysis was conducted on the basis of data from single treatment arms in the SUSTAIN 5 and DUAL 7 trials. Semaglutide 0.5 mg OW and 1.0 mg OW plus basal insulin were compared with an optimised (treat-to-target) basal–bolus regimen of insulin glargine and insulin aspart over 26 weeks, using regression adjustment to account for baseline differences between the trials. Results: Over 26 weeks, semaglutide 1.0 mg OW plus basal insulin reduced mean HbA1c by significantly more than the basal–bolus regimen (treatment difference: − 0.36%; p = 0.003), while semaglutide 0.5 mg OW plus basal insulin was comparable with basal–bolus insulin (treatment difference: 0.08%, p = 0.53). Both doses of semaglutide were associated with significant weight loss relative to insulin intensification (treatment differences: 6.8–9.4 kg; p < 0.001). At both doses, semaglutide intensification required less basal insulin per day than bolus intensification, and more participants on semaglutide met HbA1c targets of < 7.0% and ≤ 6.5% without hypoglycaemia or weight gain (odds ratio [OR] for < 7.0%, 21.9; OR for ≤ 6.5%, 16.2; both p < 0.001). Conclusions: In T2D uncontrolled by basal insulin, intensification with semaglutide 1.0 mg OW was associated with better glycaemic control, weight loss, and reduced hypoglycaemia versus a basal–bolus regimen, while limiting the treatment burden associated with frequent injections. Clinicians could consider treatment intensification with semaglutide when T2D is uncontrolled by basal insulin, especially when weight management is a priority. Effective glycaemic control coupled with weight management can alleviate the burden of diabetes-associated complications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)123-137
Number of pages15
JournalDiabetes Therapy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2023


  • Basal–bolus
  • Insulin
  • Semaglutide
  • Type 2 diabetes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


Dive into the research topics of 'An Indirect Comparison of Basal Insulin Plus Once-Weekly Semaglutide and Fully Optimised Basal–Bolus Insulin in Type 2 Diabetes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this