Navigation Links
Cost of Diabetes Care Has Doubled
Date:10/27/2008

Newer, more expensive drugs, rising rates of blood sugar disease to blame, study finds

MONDAY, Oct. 27 (HealthDay News) -- The overall cost of drugs for type 2 diabetes almost doubled between 2001 and 2007, yet whether these newer drugs improve care and outcomes isn't known, a new study finds.

In that time period, total spending went from $6.7 billion to $12.5 billion, say researchers from the University of Chicago and Stanford University.

In 2002, diabetes accounted for more than 10 percent of U.S. health-care expenditures, and that number is expected to increase as the number of people with type 2 diabetes grows, the researchers noted.

"We found dramatic changes in the treatment patterns for diabetes during the past decade," said study author Dr. G. Caleb Alexander, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Chicago. "This includes a remarkable change in drugs, as well as significant increases in costs."

Whether these changes in diabetic care positively impact outcomes isn't known, Alexander said. "The jury is still out as to whether these changes are worth it," he said. "The million dollar question is: Are these changes going to lead to overall significant improvement in the outcomes that matter to patients and their doctors?"

The report was published in the Oct. 27 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

The dramatic increase in cost is due to the high cost of commonly prescribed newer drugs. For example, sitagliptin (Januvia) costs $160 per prescription and exenatide (Byetta) costs $210 per prescription. That's eight to 11 times higher than older, generic drugs such as metformin, Alexander said.

These drugs are marketed as being more convenient and offering better control of blood sugar than the older medications. In addition, doctors are using these new drugs as an alternative to insulin, Alexander said. In fact, insulin use dropped from 38 percent in 1994 to 28 percent in 2007.

Another factor fueling higher costs of diabetes care is that an increasing number of people are being diagnosed. In 2004, 4 percent of the U.S. population were diabetics; that number is expected to increase to 7 percent by 2050, the researchers said.

In addition, diabetic patients are receiving more aggressive treatment. Diabetic patients are often prescribed more than one medication. In 1994, 82 percent of diabetics received one drug; by 2007, only 47 percent of patients were receiving just one drug, the researchers found.

Alexander admitted that many of the new drugs target different pathways of disease. "There are some real innovations here," he said. "But we don't know enough about the comparative effectiveness of these medicines compared with older medicines to make a final verdict."

One of the concerns is that drugs are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration before they have been tested on thousands of people, Alexander said. "All too often, physicians and patients may tend to adopt newer therapies without sufficient evidence of their superiority or benefits over older, less expensive, more time-tested alternatives," he said.

Recently, the diabetes drug Avandia has been linked to an increased risk for heart attack resulting in the FDA's adding a "black box" warning to the label.

Dr. Stuart Weiss, an endocrinologist at New York University Medical Center, thinks newer medications are more effective than the older ones, but they don't replace the need for a healthful diet and exercise.

"Spending money is bad, and diet and exercise is the best thing we can do for our diabetic patients, but they are not very comfortable accepting diet and exercise as the treatment for diabetes," Weiss said.

Using the older, generic medications is "good enough if your expectations are very low," Weiss said. Diabetes is a progressive disease, and drugs such as metformin fail over time, he said. "The cheap drugs are not so good," he said.

"The newer drugs have a very nice effect on the progression of disease in diabetes, and they don't lose efficacy after a few years," Weiss added. "I don't know whether they are going to fail over time. There is no medication that can't be overwhelmed by a bad diet."

Saving money by not using the newer drugs is not the answer to the growing diabetes epidemic. Even the most expensive drugs are cheaper than untreated diabetes, Weiss said. "If people think that giving cheap drugs will be the solution to the growing problem -- I think they are making a huge mistake."

Representatives of the drug industry were unavailable for comment on Monday.

More information

For more about diabetes, visit the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.



SOURCES: G. Caleb Alexander, M.D., assistant professor, medicine, University of Chicago; Stuart Weiss, M.D., endocrinologist, New York University Medical Center, and clinical assistant professor, NYU School of Medicine, New York City; Oct. 27, 2008, Archives of Internal Medicine


'/>"/>
Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Adverse housing conditions contribute to diabetes risk
2. RAND finds cases of undiagnosed diabetes drop sharply
3. UCLA researchers identify markers that may predict diabetes in still-healthy people
4. Diabetes appears to increase risk of death for patients with acute coronary syndromes
5. Discovery of sugar sensor in intestine could benefit diabetes
6. Despite overeating, morbidly obese mice gain protection against diabetes
7. Heart Attack Boosts Diabetes Risk
8. Obesity Doesnt Always Equal Diabetes
9. Sugary Sodas High in Diabetes-Linked Compound
10. Treating diabetes during pregnancy can break link to childhood obesity
11. Treating Diabetes During Pregnancy Could Lead to Thinner Kids
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Cost of Diabetes Care Has Doubled
(Date:3/1/2017)... ... March 01, 2017 , ... ... announce the release of its 2017 update to Compass, the popular online ... physician advisors. , Suitable for standardizing both new-hire on-boarding and annual competency-validation, ...
(Date:3/1/2017)... ... , ... Expert on international living and leading a healthy lifestyle, Alina Reyzelman, ... & Go app is the ultimate strategic compass that helps users to achieve goals ... people to work smarter, not harder, that's why Time & Go app provides tools ...
(Date:3/1/2017)... ... ... is Comfort for the Soul”: a loving account of a very special dog, the ... soul-healing comfort provided by God’s presence in the face of deep sorrow. “There is ... dog-loving medical professional whose work takes her to remote areas in the American Northwest, ...
(Date:3/1/2017)... ... ... to the Law of God”: a message about the revelation of God to our dark ... God” is the creation of published author Brent Chrishon, a former sales professional who left ... dedicated their lives to spreading God’s word both in the United States and abroad. , ...
(Date:2/28/2017)... ... February 28, 2017 , ... Answering strong demand for its medical ... will open a branch office in the Soma neighborhood in San Francisco on March ... factors, FDA regulatory and software systems architecture subject matter experts. , Orthogonal serves a ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:3/1/2017)... , March 1, 2017  The Welch Foundation, ... for basic research, today announced that Drs. Neal ... are the 2017 recipients of the Norman Hackerman ... recognized as ,rising stars, having contributed significant scientific discoveries ... first time in the 15 years of the Hackerman ...
(Date:3/1/2017)... , Mar 01, 2017 Research and ... Drugs Price Analysis and Strategies - 2016" report to their ... The ... 2016, provides drug pricing data and benchmarks in the global Acute ... clinical attributes of your competitor drugs and find out how the ...
(Date:3/1/2017)... stesso sistema sara, visibile nello stand a ECR, il Congresso Europeo di Radiologia ... la settima unità MROpen in Gran Bretagna, la prima in Galles. Il sistema ... Cardiff. ESC attualmente gestisce altri due sistemi di risonanza magnetica MROpen a Londra ... ... The open MRI scanner - ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: