Using the analytic hierarchy process to prioritize alternative medicine: selecting the most suitable medicine for patients with diabetes
Keywords:Analytic Hierarchy Process, Diabetes.
Diabetes mellitus (DM) is emerging as a major public health problem in Saudi Arabia and this disease affects the Middle East in general. The analytic hierarchy process (AHP) was performed to select the most appropriate oral hypoglycemic agent for use as a monotherapy among newly diagnosed patients with type 2 diabetes. Eight important criteria resulted from the hierarchy structure: side effects, chronic disease, background scientific evidence, age, weight, cost, education level, and gender. The involvement of these different factors reveals that treating diabetes is a multi-criteria decision making (MCDM) problem. Thus, AHP was used because it is one of the most common MCDM tools. This project developed a mathematical decision-making model that prioritizes the available medications for patients with diabetes in terms of the aforementioned criteria. Oral type 2 diabetes medications (metformin, pioglitazone, sitagliptin, and glimepiride) were ranked 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th, respectively; their weights were 48.42%, 24.47%, 13.61% and 13.50%, respectively. Thus, metformin is recommended because it has the highest weight. Side effects were the most important factor affecting drug selection. The AHP provides an overall ranking to aid with final decisions. Unquestionably, the results of this project, or at least the proposed methodology, facilitate the decision-making process, which is important because it assists the decision maker in determining which oral drug to choose for newly diagnosed patients with diabetes.
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