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The American Journal of Managed Care Special Issue: Pharmacy Benefits
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Costs Associated With Long-Acting Insulin Analogues in Patients With Diabetes

Berhanu Alemayehu, DrPH, MS; Jessica Speiser, MPH; Lisa Bloudek, PharmD, MS; and Evelyn Sarnes, PharmD, MPH
Findings from a literature review indicate that overall costs of long-acting insulin analogues are not significantly different from those of intermediate-acting human insulin and oral antidiabetic agents.

The objective of this literature review was to evaluate the costs associated with the use of long-acting insulin analogues (LAIAs) compared with non-LAIA agents, including human insulin, oral antidiabetic drugs, and other injectable therapies, in the treatment of patients with type 1 diabetes (T1D) or type 2 diabetes (T2D).

Study Design: A systematic review of the medical literature (MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane, EconLit) conducted from 2004 to 2016.

Methods: The review protocol was developed according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines. Inclusion criteria for studies were: patients with T1D and/or T2D, LAIA intervention, and comparators, including oral antidiabetics (OADs) or neutral protamine Hagedorn (NPH). Outcomes of interest were adherence measures; economic outcomes, including total costs, cost savings, and willingness-to-pay; and cost-effectiveness or incremental cost-effectiveness analyses. Real-world costs of individual LAIAs were also evaluated and are often compared against those of other LAIAs in the economic analyses.

Results: We identified and included 117 relevant studies. Patients using LAIAs had higher drug costs than those using OADs and NPH but had neutral or reduced total and diabetes-related costs compared with patients using non-LAIAs. Use of LAIA pen-delivery systems may lead to improved adherence and reduction in costs. Patients receiving insulin glargine demonstrated higher adherence and persistence than patients on insulin detemir. Economic models suggest that LAIAs are more cost-effective than NPH for T1D; for T2D, insulin glargine is more costly than NPH but less so than insulin detemir.

Conclusions: Despite higher drug costs, the real-world overall medical costs of LAIAs are not significantly different from those of NPH in patients with diabetes. The findings may be helpful for formulary decision making for patients with diabetes in a cost-constrained environment.

Am J Manag Care. 2018;24(Spec Issue No. 8):SP265-SP272

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