Magazine article Drug Topics

Diabetes Treatment Costs Could Be Shaved

Magazine article Drug Topics

Diabetes Treatment Costs Could Be Shaved

Article excerpt

GENERIC SAVINGS

The significant cost of diabetes treatments on the U.S. healthcare system could be alleviated if physicians prescribed more generics, a recent study indicated.

In 35% of cases involving more than 250,000 newly diagnosed diabetes mellitus patients, physicians did not follow recommended diabetes treatments, according to a study published in a recent issue of The American Journal of Mediane. The study, which was conducted by researchers from Harvard University, Brigham and Women's Hospital, and CVS Caremark, based its treatment comparisons on the consensus guidelines for recommended treatment issued by the American Diabetes Association/European Association for the Study of Diabetes.

In the researchers' review of pharmacy daims of patients newly started on a diabetes medication between January 1, 2006, and December 31, 2008, more than a third of initial treatments did not include the ADAs recommended first-line drug which is a generic Over the course of the study period, the proportion of patients initially treated with metformin increased from 5 1 % to 65%, while those receiving sulfonylureas decreased from 26% to 18%.

According to the study, patients treated with generics spent an average of $116.10 over six months, compared to $677.20 spent over six months by patients receiving the most expensive therapies. Researchers estimated that brand medications cost the patients $1,120 more per year. …

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