Blood Glucose Testing a Significant Contributor to Pharmacy Costs in Patients Using Insulin

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Wayne Kuznar

San Diego, CA—Blood glucose testing constitutes more than 20% of US pharmacy costs in patients taking insulin, investigators from the IMS Consulting Group, Alexandria, VA, found in a study presented at the 2011 Scientific Sessions of the American Diabetes Association.

“New insulin regimens with simpler, user-friendly dosing options and simpler titration are warranted in order to enable relevant cost-savings,” the researchers stated.

Their study used medical and pharmacy claims data from 102 health plans across the United States. Included in their analysis were 74,936 patients with type 1 or type 2 diabetes with 2 or more prescriptions for insulin of any type, more than 6 months of continuous enrollment in their plan before study inclusion, and more than 12 months of continuous enrollment after study inclusion for outcomes measurement. Of the patients, 43.1% were new to insulin therapy.

Self-measured blood glucose constituted 20.0% ($602 of $2975) of the total annual diabetes-related pharmacy costs. The relative cost of self-measured blood glucose was 15.3% ($399 of $2607) for users of basal insulin only compared with 22.2% ($812 of $3666) for basal-bolus insulin users and 15.1% ($395 of $2617) for users of premixed insulin.

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Last modified: February 14, 2019
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