Reviewing Diabetes Rx Data Before the ADA Scientific Sessions

Jun 5, 2014
For the third year in a row, the U.S. spent more on diabetes medications than for treatments for any other condition.
  • Diabetes

In the coming weeks, researchers and healthcare professionals will gather at the American Diabetes Association’s 74th Scientific Sessions to discuss the latest research, drug therapies and clinical care for diabetes.

With nearly 400 million people worldwide suffering from diabetes, increasing drug use and cost continue to be a concern for payers.

Diabetes Drug Trend

For the third year in a row, the U.S. spent more on diabetes medications than for treatments for any other condition.

Other data from the Express Scripts 2013 Drug Trend Report shows:

  • Use of diabetes medications rose 2.4% in 2013, accelerating from a 1.5% increase in 2012.
  • Diabetes drug costs increased 11.6% in 2013, accelerating from 9.5% in 2012.
  • Spending on diabetes medications is forecast to jump at an annual rate of 10% - 13% over the next three years.
  • 37.9% of diabetes patients were nonadherent to their medication therapy in 2013.

Diabetes Drug Approvals

While the majority of drugs that gained FDA approval in 2013 were specialty drugs, new diabetes drugs present new treatment options for millions of Americans.

In 2013, the FDA approved two medications for Type 2 diabetes patients in a new class of glucose-lowering, weight-loss-promoting diabetes drugs known as sodium glucose cotransporter-2 (SGLT-2) inhibitors.

As the most common form of the disease, Type 2 diabetes affects about 24 million people and accounts for more than 90% of diabetes cases diagnosed in the U.S. Three additional diabetes treatments – AfrezzaTM, dulaglutide and Syncria® – are also expected to gain FDA approval this year.

Value of Clinical Specialization in Diabetes Care

With such a large population undergoing diabetes treatment, clinical expertise for the condition is even more important. Specialist pharmacists in the Express Scripts Diabetes Therapeutic Resource Center® possess the disease-specific training to counsel patients on their therapy regime. These specialists help patients understand the risk and benefits of new treatment and prevent downstream health complications such as hypoglycemia.

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Lab Staff
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