Aims: The number of prescription medications and out-of-pocket expenses of individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) were evaluated to assess the economic burden of diabetes.
Methods: The self-reported number of prescription medications and out-of-pocket healthcare expenses were evaluated from respondents of the United States SHIELD study with and without a diagnosis of T2DM. Medications included monotherapy and combination therapy; combination tablets were counted as one agent. Analysis of variance and multivariate linear regression models adjusted for age, gender, prescription insurance coverage, and household income.
Results: Of the T2DM respondents (n=3551), 40% were on 1 prescription antidiabetic agent (7% insulin alone), 26% were on 2 agents, 8% were on >or=3 agents, with a mean of 1.3 antidiabetic agents. After adjusting for age, gender, insurance coverage, and income, respondents with T2DM had a significantly larger total number of prescriptions (6.2) and higher out-of-pocket expenses for both annual medical ($1158) and monthly prescription ($144) expenses, compared with respondents without T2DM (n=8686) (4.1 prescriptions, $925 annual medical, $118 monthly prescription) (p<0.01).
Conclusions: Increased out-of-pocket medical and medication costs in T2DM are due to the use of both antidiabetic agents and other medications for treatment of comorbid conditions.