The Rising Cost of Diabetes Treatment – Knowing the cost

A 2018 study by the ADA (American Diabetes Association) has reported around a 26% increase in the price of diabetes care in the past 5 years. Since 2013, the approximate annual expenditure on the treatment of this silent killer has risen from $245 billion to a whopping 327 billion dollars. This astronomical expenditure includes the direct medical costs of 237 million dollars along with $90 billion which is the result of the net loss in productivity for patients who have diabetes. 

Why the expenditure?

Diabetes care is costly; there is no going around the fact. There are some significant components of diabetes treatment that increases the expenditure.

·         In-patient care at the hospitals contribute to 30% of the total medical cost

·         The prescription medications required to treat the complications of the disease are of high cost since a lot of research and development goes into the drug designing

·         Charges of the physician which will include diabetes and renal specialists as associated complications are quite common

·         Miscellaneous expenses that include diabetes supplies and the high cost of anti-diabetic agents 

The estimates, point out the extent of the social and economic burden the disease imposes on a patient along with the severe debilitating physical symptoms. With such high expenditure rates for diabetes care, it is always essential to be able to save big. And there is good news! The Prescription Discount Program by Pharma Quotes is your one-stop solution for any individual irrespective of being insured or uninsured, who needs aid to afford the diabetes medications. The cost of the diabetes medications can be brought down by 75% by availing the coupon(s) or card facility provided by such program.

What are the medicines?

When it comes to the rising cost of diabetes medications, the most affected drugs are the commonly used ones. A widely used diabetes prescription drug, known as Trulicity, experienced a 36% increase in the price rate for 2018 from the previous year. Trulicity is an “injectable” non-insulin anti-diabetic agent and has the largest utilization among patients, on per member/per month basis. The price rise has been attributed to the increased usage of the drug by 22% since 2016.

SGLT2 (Sodium-Glucose Transport Protein 2) inhibitors including branded medicines like Invokana and Jardiance is the second most common class of anti-diabetic agent that has seen a steep rise in its price. This class of drug blocks the re-absorption of glucose by the kidneys. As before, increase in per member/per month usage led to a 33% increase in the net expenditure for the SGLT2 inhibitor class of drugs.

However, as a marker for the increased expenditure for diabetes treatment one doesn’t need to look any further than Insulin. The prices of both oral and injectable insulin have risen by 7.5% in the past year alone despite its continued decade-long manufacturing and usage. Newer formulations that include Toujeo and Tresiba are out of reach for average American. Contrary to the non-insulin and SGLT2 class of drugs the rise of insulin prices is due to the tripling of the average unit price of the drug in 10 years, from $4.34/milliliter (2002) to $12.92 (2013).        

Only after a careful review of the expenditure pattern for the rising cost of diabetes care can you as a patient take wise decisions while undergoing treatment. 




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