ABSTRACT: Six oral medication classes have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Although all of these agents effectively lower blood glucose, the evidence supporting their impact on other clinical events is variable. There also are substantial cost differences between agents. We aimed to evaluate temporal trends in the use of specific drugs for the initial management of type 2 diabetes and to estimate the economic consequences of non-recommended care.
We studied a cohort of 254,973 patients, aged 18 to 100 years, who were newly initiated on oral hypoglycemic monotherapy between January 1, 2006, and December 31, 2008, by using prescription claims data from a large pharmacy benefit manager. Linear regression models were used to assess whether medication initiation patterns changed over time. Multivariate logistic regression models were constructed to identify independent predictors of receiving initial therapy with metformin. We then measured the economic consequences of prescribing patterns by drug class for both patients and the insurer.
Over the course of the study period, the proportion of patients initially treated with metformin increased from 51% to 65%, whereas those receiving sulfonylureas decreased from 26% to 18% (P<.001 for both). There was a significant decline in the use of thiazolidinediones (20.1%-8.3%, P<.001) and an increase in prescriptions for dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors (0.4%-7.3%, P<.001). Younger patients, women, and patients receiving drug benefits through Medicare were least likely to initiate treatment with metformin. Combined patient and insurer spending for patients who were initiated on alpha-glucosidase inhibitors, thiazolidinediones, meglitinides, or dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors was $677 over a 6-month period compared with $116 and $118 for patients initiated on metformin or a sulfonylurea, respectively, a cost difference of approximately $1120 annually per patient.
Approximately 35% of patients initiating an oral hypoglycemic drug did not receive recommended initial therapy with metformin. These practice patterns also have substantial implications for health care spending.
The American journal of medicine 03/2012; 125(3):302.e1-7. · 4.47 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: Patients with chronic disease often take many medications multiple times per day. Such regimen complexity is associated with medication nonadherence. Other factors, including the number of pharmacy visits patients make to pick up their prescriptions, may also undermine adherence. Our objective was to estimate the extent of prescribing and filling complexity in patients prescribed a cardiovascular medication and to evaluate its association with adherence.
The study population comprised individuals prescribed a statin (n = 1 827 395) or an angiotensin- converting enzyme inhibitor or renin angiotensin receptor blocker (ACEI/ARB) (n = 1 480 304) between June 1, 2006, and May 30, 2007. We estimated complexity by measuring the number of medications, prescribers, pharmacies, pharmacy visits, and refill consolidation (a measure of the number of visits per fill) during the 3 months from the first prescription. The number of daily doses was also measured in ACEI/ARB users. After this period, adherence was evaluated over the subsequent year. The relationship between complexity and adherence was assessed with multivariable linear regression.
The statin cohort had a mean age of 63 years and were 49% male. On average, during the 3-month complexity assessment period, statin users filled 11.4 prescriptions for 6.3 different medications, had prescriptions written by 2 prescribers, and made 5.0 visits to the pharmacy. Results for ACEI/ARB users were similar. Greater prescribing and filling complexity was associated with lower levels of adherence. In adjusted models, patients with the least refill consolidation had adherence rates that were 8% lower over the subsequent year than patients with the greatest refill consolidation.
Medication use and prescription filling for patients with cardiovascular disease is complex, and strategies to reduce this complexity may help improve medication adherence.
Archives of internal medicine 05/2011; 171(9):814-22. · 11.46 Impact Factor
Archives of Internal Medicine 171(9):814-822. · 11.46 Impact Factor