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Diabetes Care. 2001 Aug;24(8):1411-5.

Utilization of oral hypoglycemic agents in a drug-insured U.S. population.

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  • 1The Institute for Effectiveness Research, Bridgewater, New Jersey. Novartis Pharmaceutical Corporation, East Hanover, New Jersey 08807, USA. stephen_boccuzzi@mmmc-tier.com



Clinical trials provide information regarding the safety and efficacy of medications used to manage type 2 diabetes but do not elucidate drug effectiveness in a typical managed care environment. The aim of this study was to characterize "real-world" drug utilization patterns from both a prescriber and a patient perspective.


We conducted a retrospective analysis of a large administrative pharmacy claims database, using data on continuously pharmacy benefit-eligible members prescribed oral hypoglycemic agents (OHAs).


The 12-month persistence rate for the OHA cohort was low, ranging from 31% for alpha-glucosidase inhibitors to 60% for metformin; compliance rates varied between 70 and 80%. During the first 12 months of therapy, 36% of the patients remaining on therapy at 12 months had one or more therapy modifications. The mean number of therapy changes increased with the length of patient follow-up, with more than half of all patients experiencing at least one therapy change over the duration of follow-up.


These findings document the wide variation in utilization patterns associated with pharmacological management of type 2 diabetes, suggesting that opportunity exists to optimize its pharmacological management.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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