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Med Care Res Rev. 2012 Aug;69(4):474-91. doi: 10.1177/1077558712442570. Epub 2012 Apr 17.

Changes in pharmaceutical treatment of diabetes and family financial burdens.

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  • 1Center for Financing, Access and Cost Trends, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD 20850, USA.


Recent changes in diabetes treatment guidelines and the introduction of new, more expensive pharmaceuticals appear to increase the financial challenges for nonelderly adults with diabetes. The authors used Medical Expenditure Panel Survey data to examine changes in the prevalence of diabetes and comorbidities, diabetes treatment, financial burdens, and the relationship between high financial burdens and patient characteristics. From 1997-1998 to 2006-2007, the total number of nonelderly adults treated for diabetes nearly doubled, from 5.4 to 10.7 million, and the proportion of diabetes patients using multiple drugs to treat their condition increased significantly. About a fifth of diabetes patients spent 10% or more of their family income on health care, and about one in nine spent 20% or more of their family income on health care. In 2006-2007, diabetes patients who were older, female, in poor health, or lacked insurance were more likely than others to have high burdens.

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