Utilization Patterns of Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 Receptor Agonists in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus in Italy: A Retrospective Cohort Study

Diabetes Ther. 2018 Apr;9(2):789-801. doi: 10.1007/s13300-018-0396-2. Epub 2018 Mar 10.


Introduction: Real-world evidence on glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist (GLP-1 RAs) usage is emerging in different European countries but is lacking in Italy. This retrospective cohort study aimed to describe the real-world drug utilization patterns in patients initiating GLP-1 RAs for treating T2DM in Italy.

Methods: Adults aged ≥ 20 years and with ≥ 1 oral antidiabetic drug (alone or in combination with insulin) other than GLP-1 RAs in the 6 months prior to initiating exenatide twice daily (exBID), exenatide once weekly (exQW), dulaglutide once weekly (DULA), liraglutide once daily (LIRA) or lixisenatide once daily (LIXI) between March and July 2016 were retrospectively identified in the Italian IMS LifeLink™ longitudinal prescriptions database (retail pharmacy data). Patients with ≥ 6-month follow-up (defined as evidence of any prescription activity) were included. Proportions of patients who remained persistent (continued treatment until discontinuation/switch) in the first 6 months and of those who discontinued or switched to a different GLP-1 RA over the entire follow-up were recorded. For each treatment, the average daily/weekly dosage (ADD/AWD) while persistent during the available follow-up was calculated.

Results: We identified 7319 patients: 92 exBID, 970 exQW, 3368 DULA, 2573 LIRA and 316 LIXI. Across treatments, 89% patients were ≥ 50 years old, 54% were males, and the median follow-up duration ranged between 8.1 and 8.7 months. At 6 months, 35% exBID, 47% exQW, 62% DULA, 50% LIRA and 40% LIXI patients remained persistent. Over the entire follow-up, median persistence days varied from 73 (exBID) to > 300 days (DULA). The mean ± SD ADD/AWD was exBID: 17.7 ± 2.1 µg/day; exQW: 2.1 ± 0.1 mg/week; DULA: 1.5 ± 0.2 mg/week; LIRA: 1.5 ± 0.2 mg/day; LIXI: 21.0 ± 5.5 µg/day.

Conclusions: This real-world analysis suggests differences exist in persistence between patients treated with various GLP-1 RAs. Among the investigated treatments, patients prescribed exBID recorded the lowest and those prescribed DULA the highest persistence with therapy.

Funding: Eli Lilly and Co., Indianapolis, IN, USA.

Keywords: Glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1 RAs); Persistence; Prescribed average daily dose; Treatment modifications; Type two diabetes.