Introduction: While the liraglutide effect and action in diabetes (LEAD-6) clinical trial compared the efficacy and safety of liraglutide once daily (LIRA) to exenatide twice daily (EXEN) in adult patients with type 2 diabetes, few studies have explored the associated per-patient costs of glycemic goal achievement of their use in a real-world clinical setting.
Methods: This retrospective cohort study used integrated medical and pharmacy claims linked with glycated hemoglobin A1C (A1C) results from the IMS Patient-Centric Integrated Data Warehouse. Patients' ≥18 years and naïve to incretin therapies during a 6-month pre-index period, with ≥1 prescription for LIRA or EXEN between January 2010 and December 2010, were included. Patients with evidence of insulin use (pre- or post-index) were excluded. Only patients who were persistent on their index treatment during a 180-day post-index period were included. Follow-up A1C assessments were based on available laboratory data within 45 days before or after the 6-month post-index point in time. Diabetes-related pharmacy costs over the 6-month post-index period were captured and included costs for both the index drugs and concomitant diabetes medications.
Results: 234 LIRA and 182 EXEN patients were identified for the analysis. The adjusted predicted diabetes-related pharmacy costs per patient over the 6-month post-index period were higher for LIRA compared to EXEN ($2,002 [95% confidence interval (CI): $1,981, $2,023] vs. $1,799 [95% CI: $1,778, $1,820]; P < 0.001). However, a higher adjusted predicted percentage of patients on LIRA reached A1C < 7% goal (64.4% [95% CI: 63.5, 65.3] vs. 53.6% [95% CI: 52.6, 54.6]; P < 0.05), translating into lower average diabetes-related pharmacy costs per successfully treated patient for LIRA as compared to EXEN ($3,108 vs. $3,354; P < 0.0001).
Conclusions: Although predicted diabetes-related pharmacy costs were greater with LIRA vs. EXEN, a higher proportion of patients on LIRA achieved A1C < 7%, resulting in a lower per-patient cost of A1C goal achievement with LIRA compared to EXEN.