Patterns of medication initiation in newly diagnosed diabetes mellitus: quality and cost implications.

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Patterns of medication initiation in newly diagnosed diabetes mellitus: quality and cost implications.

Am J Med. 2012 Oct;125(10):S1-2

Authors: Liao EP


Currently, 25 million Americans are known to have diabetes, with an additional 7 million cases believed to be undiagnosed. It is estimated that direct and indirect costs of diabetes top $200 billion. Due to the significant health and financial burdens associated with diabetes, it is imperative that this disease be treated quickly and aggressively. In 2009, the American Diabetes Association and the European Association for the Study of Diabetes developed a consensus statement regarding the treatment of type 2 diabetes, citing lifestyle modification and metformin as the preferred first line therapies. In this study, the authors looked at prescription claims data for adults who were newly initiated on oral hypoglycemic monotherapy between January 1, 2006, and December 31, 2008, to determine if initiation patterns changed over time, to evaluate how well the treatment guidelines were being followed, and to assess the economic consequences of prescribing patterns by drug class for both patients and insurers. The results showed that over the course of the study period the proportion of patients initially treated with metformin increased, whereas those receiving sulfonylureas as first-line therapy decreased. Thiazolidinediones experienced the greatest decrease, falling from 20% to 8%, while prescriptions for dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors increase from 0-7%. Over a 6-month period, patients taking metformin or sulfonylureas paid approximately $38 to $40 in co-pays while insurance paid about $77. Patients taking other agents paid approximately $130 in co-pays and insurance paid over $500. The authors concluded that based its cost and safety profile, metformin should be the first line drug therapy for patients with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes. This CME multimedia activity, which is part of a 2-part multimedia activity on the management and treatment of diabetes, contains a video presentation and is available through the website of The American Journal of Medicine at Click on "Patterns of Medication Initiation in Newly Diagnosed Diabetes Mellitus: Quality and Cost Implications" to access this part of the multimedia program.

PMID: 22998891 [PubMed - in process]

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