Blog | Thursday, June 12, 2014

QD: News Every Day--Out-of-pocket costs for insulin analogues doubled during decade of widespread uptake


Widespread adoption of insulin analogs nearly doubled the out-of-pocket costs among insulin users from a median of $19 to $36 between 2000 and 2010, while the overall use increased from 10% to 15% in the same time period, a research letter reported.

While severe hypoglycemic events declined slightly, it was not a statistically significant decline, researchers reported in the June 11 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Researchers conducted a retrospective analysis of data from an administrative claims database of privately insured enrollees among adults between January 2000 and September 2010. Nearly 125,000 patients filled at least 1 insulin prescription: 9.7% (95% CI, 9.5% to 9.8%) in 2000 and 15.1% (95% CI, 15.0% to 15.3%) in 2010 (P=0.001).

In the study, researchers reported that 96.4% (95% CI, 96.0% to 96.8%) filled prescriptions for human synthetic insulin in 2000 and 14.8% (95% CI, 14.5% to 15.2%) did so in 2010 (P<0.001). By 2010, the numbers had flipped; 18.9% (95% CI, 18.2% to 19.7%) filled prescriptions for insulin analogs in 2000 and 91.5% (95% CI, 91.2% to 91.8%) did so in 2010 (P<0.001)

The median out-of-pocket costs per prescription for all types of insulin increased from $19 (interquartile range [IQR], $14 to $23) in 2000 to $36 (IQR, $20 to $53) in 2010 (P<0.001). The rate of severe hypoglycemic events declined from 21.1 events per 1,000 person years in 2000 to 17.7 events per 1,000 in 2010 (P=0.054).