The objective was to review and analyze carefully all published studies related to costs of diabetic patients who do not adhere to medications and identify sources of differences among studies.
Two hundred nineteen studies were identified with important differences in the estimated costs. For example, if patients do not take the medicine as prescribed for 5 years, this will increase the average total costs from $4,000 to more than $15,000, depending on the study. The differences in those estimations are due to characteristics of patients included, data sources for costs, time of follow-up and methods used for analysis.
Costs of not taking medications as prescribed have an impact on the US economy increasing the costs up to $100 billion per year. In addition, poor adherence to antidiabetic medications might explain why 43% of patients with diabetes mellitus do not reach adequate glycemic control.
This is a true teamwork effort, Dr. Salas said, that has been supported by the ISPOR Special Interest Initiative that provided a forum for information exchange among interested members. This topic is especially important because diabetes is a chronic disease where it is important to maintain adequate drug levels in the body to obtain an effect, which might be translated in reduction of morbi-mortality.
The article appeared in Value in Health, the official journal of the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research. ISPOR is a nonprofit, international organization that strives to translate pharmacoeconomics and outcomes research into practice to ensure that society allocates scarce health care resources wisely, fairly, and efficiently.