Objective: To assess direct costs and describe resource utilisation associated with the first 6 months of insulin therapy in German patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM).
Research design and methods: This is an ongoing pan-European, non-interventional, prospective study observing the normal course of diabetes therapy of adult patients with type 2 DM in a diabetologic practice setting, and initiating insulin therapy in 2006. Diabetes therapy 6 months prior to initiation of insulin therapy was assessed retrospectively. For German patients (n = 256), direct costs associated with health-care resource utilisation prior to and after the insulin initiation were assessed and compared from the German statutory health insurance perspective.
Results: The percentage of patients using blood glucose monitoring increased from 76.4 to 99.6%; 42.1% of patients remained on oral anti-diabetic medication, with metformin used most frequently (36.5%). Total average cost of resource use related to diabetes care per patient for the 6-month period prior to and 6 months after insulin initiation increased from Euro 579 to Euro 961. Mean total costs of diabetes care during 6 months after insulin initiation in the subgroup of obese patients with worse prognosis at baseline (HbA(1c)> or = 7.5% and BMI > or = 30 kg/m(2)) were Euro 1047 [95% CI 965; 1128] vs. Euro 903 [95% CI 840; 965] in other patients.
Conclusions: Resource utilisation and costs related to diabetes increased in the 6 months following insulin initiation, mainly driven by specialist care resource use, insulin, and blood glucose monitoring. Total direct costs of diabetes care of the patients with a less favourable profile of BMI and HbA(1c) at baseline are higher compared to other patients.