Physicians' Academy for Cardiovascular Education

Cardiologists account for small proportion of all use of SGLT2is and GLP-1RAs

National Trends in Use of Sodium‐Glucose Cotransporter‐2 Inhibitors and Glucagon‐like Peptide‐1 Receptor Agonists by Cardiologists and Other Specialties, 2015 to 2020

Literature - Adhikari R, Jha K, Dardari Z, et al. - J Am Heart Assoc. 2022 May 3;11(9):e023811. doi: 10.1161/JAHA.121.023811

Introduction and methods


Despite the cardiovascular benefits of SGLT2is and GLP‐1RAs, they are not prescribed to most T2DM patients with established CVD or additional cardiovascular risk factors. Several prominent clinical guidelines and awareness campaigns have specifically called upon cardiologists to take the lead in deploying these drugs [1-4].

Aim of the study

In this descriptive analysis, the pattern of SGLT2i and GLP‐1RA prescription by cardiologists and noncardiologists in the USA from 2015 through 2020 was examined.


The authors analyzed data from IQVIA’s National Prescription Audit (NPA) from January 2015 through December 2020. This comprehensive audit captures ~90% of all retail prescriptions dispensed in the USA. NPA‐generated projections of total dispensed prescription volume were used to estimate monthly SGLT2is and GLP-1RAs dispensed, stratified by prescriber specialty and drug molecule. To calculate the average number of annual dispensed prescriptions per physician, the NPA-generated projections of total dispensed prescription volume were combined with aggregate physician census data for each specialty from the American Medical Association’s Physician Masterfile.

Main results

Prescription rates

SGLT2i trends

GLP-1RA trends


Analysis of a near–census‐level audit of US retail prescriptions showed a 12-fold increase in SGLT2i prescriptions and a 4-fold increase in GLP‐1RA prescriptions by cardiologists from 2015 through 2020. However, cardiologists accounted for <2% of all dispensed prescriptions for these drugs, which could contribute to the undertreatment of T2DM patients with a high CVD risk. According to the authors, “[their] results demonstrating a limited role of cardiologists in disseminating SGLT2i and GLP‐1RA therapies present an opportunity to optimize access to these cardiometabolic therapies.”


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Find this article online at J Am Heart Assoc.

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