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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.



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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