Clinical and Economic Outcomes Among Patients With Diabetes Mellitus Initiating Insulin Glargine Pen Versus Vial

Log in or subscribe to view full content.
Article is also available for purchase the article in one of the available formats.
Michael Grabner, PhD; James Chu, MD; Swetha Raparla, MS; Ralph Quimbo, MA; Steve Zhou, PhD; Joseph Conoshenti, RPh, MBA

Table of Contents

Postgraduate Medicine:

Volume 125 No. 3

Category:

Clinical Focus

Purchase this article in one of the formats specified below:

DOI: 10.3810/pgm.2013.05.2656
Abstract: Background: Insulin pens may help patients reach glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) target levels, but a substantial proportion of patients continue to use insulin vials/syringes. The objective of the current study was to evaluate real-world clinical and economic outcomes of patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) initiating insulin glargine via pen delivery (pen) or vial/syringe (vial) within a large managed-care population in the United States. Methods: This retrospective administrative claims study used data on adult, insulin-naïve patients with T2DM treated with ≥ 1 oral antidiabetic or glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist at baseline. The index date was the earliest pen or vial prescription date. Propensity score matching (1:1) of patients in the pen and vial cohorts was used when comparing 1-year outcomes, including treatment persistence and adherence, HbA1c levels, hypoglycemia rates, and all-cause and diabetes-related health care costs (computed as paid amounts on claims). Results: Patients in the matched cohorts (n = 733 per cohort) were well balanced with regard to demographics (mean age 52 years; 43% women), clinical measures (mean HbA1c level, 9.4%; mean Quan-Modified Charlson Comorbidity Index score, 0.9), and health care utilization at baseline. Following initiation of insulin glargine, pen patients were more persistent (60.6% vs 50.1%; P < 0.001) and adherent (medication possession ratio, 0.73 vs 0.57; P < 0.001), with lower HbA1c levels during follow-up (mean adjusted change, −1.05 vs −0.73; P < 0.001), compared with vial patients. Hypoglycemic events occurred at similar rates across pen and vial cohorts (3.8% vs 5.2%, respectively; P = 0.21). Study drug costs were higher among pen users ($1164 vs $762, respectively; P < 0.001), but this did not translate into higher total all-cause or diabetes-related costs. Conclusion: For patients with diabetes newly initiating insulin glargine, using an insulin pen device was associated with increased therapy persistence and adherence, and lower HbA1c levels relative to vial/syringe, without increasing total all-cause or diabetes-related costs.

Keywords: diabetes; adherence; comparative effectiveness; health services research