Objective: To evaluate clinical and economic outcomes in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) who failed oral anti-diabetic drug (OAD) therapy and initiated either insulin glargine with disposable pen (GLA-P) or exenatide BID (EXE).
Research design and methods: This retrospective study used data from a large US-managed care claims database and included adult T2DM patients initiating treatment with GLA-P or EXE in 2007 or 2008. Propensity score matching was used to control observed baseline differences between treatment groups. Primary study end-points included treatment persistence, A1C, healthcare utilization, and healthcare costs during the 1-year follow-up period.
Results: Two thousand three hundred and thirty nine patients were included in the study (GLA-P: 381; EXE: 1958); 626 patients were in the 1:1 matched cohort (54% male; mean age: 54 years; mean A1C: 9.2%). At follow-up, patients in the GLA-P group were significantly more persistent in treatment than EXE patients (48% vs 15% in persistence rate and 252 vs 144 days in persistence days; both p<0.001). GLA-P patients also had significantly lower A1C at follow-up (8.02% vs 8.32%; p=0.042) and greater A1C reduction from baseline (-1.23% vs -0.92%; p=0.038). There were no significant differences in claims-based hypoglycemia rates and overall diabetes-related healthcare utilization and cost.
Limitations: Since this was a retrospective analysis, causality of treatment benefits cannot be established. The study was specific to two treatments and may not generalize to other models of insulin administration. Some of the results, although statistically significant, may not be found clinically important.
Conclusions: In a real-world setting among T2DM patients who failed to achieve or sustain glycemic goal with OADs, initiation of GLA-P instead of EXE may be a more effective option because it was associated with greater treatment persistence, greater A1C reduction without a significantly higher rate of hypoglycemia, and similar healthcare costs.