Magazine article Drug Topics

Does Diabetes Management Really Save Costs?

Magazine article Drug Topics

Does Diabetes Management Really Save Costs?

Article excerpt

There are more than 13 million Americans with diabetes, estimates the American Diabetes Association. But only half of these people know they have diabetes.

Can a disease management program that targets diabetics in terms of aggressive diagnosis and treatment truly save any money? It would appear that notifying all the undiagnosed people that they have the disease, and then encouraging them to take action to manage their disease, would only raise costs for treating this population. Or would it?

On the one hand, even if these newly diagnosed diabetics didn't begin taking insulin, they would at the very least start buying glucose monitors and test strips to monitor their blood sugar levels. On the other hand, perhaps the prevention of diabetes complications would result in long-term savings.

When Drug Topics posed this dilemma to several industry observers, the basic response was, Yes, the short-term costs of treating diabetes would be raised through disease management. But the long-term costs, over a 15- to 20-year period, would be lower.

Greg Schofield, president, Greenstone Limited, a subsidiary of The Upjohn Co. …

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