A retrospective database analysis of insulin use patterns in insulin-naïve patients with type 2 diabetes initiating basal insulin or mixtures

Patient Prefer Adherence. 2010 Jun 24;4:147-56. doi: 10.2147/ppa.s10467.


Objective: To describe insulin persistence among patients with type 2 diabetes initiating insulin therapy with basal insulin or insulin mixtures and determine factors associated with nonpersistence.

Research design and methods: The Thomson Reuters MarketScan((R)) databases were used to retrospectively analyze insulin-naïve patients with type 2 diabetes by initiating insulin therapy. Insulin use was described using a variety of measures. The persistence to insulin was described using both a gap-based measure and the number of claims measure.

Results: Patients in the basal insulin cohort (N = 15,255) primarily used insulin analogs (88.1%) and vial and syringe (97%). Patients in the mixture cohort (N = 2,732) were more likely to initiate on human insulin mixtures (62.5%) and vial and syringe (68.1%). Average time between insulin refills was 80 and 71 days for basal and mixture initiators, respectively. Nearly, 75% of basal insulin initiators and 65% of insulin mixture initiators had a 90-day gap in insulin prescriptions. More than half of all the patients had at least one insulin prescription per quarter. Patients initiating with insulin analogs were more likely to be persistent compared with those initiating with human insulin across both cohorts and measures of persistence (P < 0.001).

Conclusion: Persistence to insulin therapy is poorer than one would anticipate, but appears to be higher in users of insulin analogs and insulin mixtures.

Keywords: basal insulin; insulin mixtures; insulin persistence.