December 26, 2013

Many Type 2s On Oral Medications Stop

Apparently no one thought this was important enough to talk about it earlier during or after the American Diabetes Association Scientific Sessions in Chicago. I am surprised that it even received a mention now.

A new study conducted by Carol E. Koro, Ph.D., “shows that a majority of people taking drugs to treat type 2 diabetes stop taking their medications within six months, while almost all of them stop taking them within a year. The rate of drug discontinuation among type 2 diabetes patients was 89 percent for those taking a GLP-1 agonist to lower blood sugar levels, 82 percent for those who took a DPP-4 inhibitor to stimulate the release of insulin by the pancreas, and 84 percent for those taking other diabetes medications.”

Carol E. Koro, Ph.D., who along with colleagues looked at 134,696 type 2 diabetes patients placed on a GLP-1 agonist, 202,269 who were taking a DPP-4 inhibitor, and 1,014,630 who were prescribed another diabetes drug. All patients were commercially insured.” These are alarming statistics, but with the alarms about the GLP-1 agonists and DPP-4 inhibitors, we probably should not be surprised. I am concerned that the patients did not talk to their doctors' about this to prevent diabetes from becoming unmanaged.

Now an even more concerning factor is that Koro, “An epidemiologist at GlaxoSmithKline in Research Triangle Park, N.C., based her research on data from the Truven Health Analytics MarketScan database between 2005 and 2011, and tracked refill rate patterns to determine how much of their medications patients were taking.”

"These results demonstrate the need for improved persistence with GLP-1 agonist treatment," Koro said, “adding that estimates suggest that improving compliance with diabetes drug protocol could prevent 700,000 emergency room visits and 341,000 hospitalizations each year, saving $4.7 billion in health care costs.” The study was funded by the pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline.

You have to know that the company drug reps will be pushing hard to reverse this. GlaxoSmithKline does not want a loss in revenue. This also points out problems in the confidentially of data when a pharmaceutical company like this can identify patients by doctor and what weight and sex the patients were.

It is sad that this happened, but to allow a pharmaceutical company access to this information is not good. It is understandable now why this was probably not reported earlier and for Diabetes Health to be reporting this now speaks volumes in their lack of concern for ethics and is just another point they have broken in patient trust.

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