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Diabetes Care. 2009 Apr;32(4):647-9. doi: 10.2337/dc08-1311. Epub 2009 Jan 26.

Increased persistency in medication use by U.S. Medicare beneficiaries with diabetes is associated with lower hospitalization rates and cost savings.

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  • 1Peter Lamy Center on Drug Therapy and Aging, University of Maryland Baltimore, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.



To assess the relationship between annual fills for antidiabetes medications, ACE inhibitors, angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs), and lipid-lowering agents on hospitalization and Medicare spending for beneficiaries with diabetes.


Using Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey data from 1997 to 2004, we identified 7,441 community-dwelling beneficiaries with diabetes, who contributed 14,317 person-years of data for the analysis. We used multivariate regression analysis to estimate the effect of persistency in medication fills on hospitalization risk, hospital days, and Medicare spending.


For users of older oral antidiabetes agents, ACE inhibitors, ARBs, and statins, each additional prescription fill was associated with significantly lower risk of hospitalization, fewer hospital days, and lower Medicare spending.


These results suggest an economic case for promoting greater persistency in use of drugs with approved indications by Medicare beneficiaries with diabetes; however, additional research is needed to corroborate the study's cross-sectional findings.

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