Authors: Wei W, Zhou S, Miao R, Pan C, Xie L, Baser O, Gill J.
Introduction: Type-2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is a progressive disease, and many patients eventually require insulin therapy. This study examined real-world outcomes of switching basal insulin analogs among patients with T2DM.
Methods: Using two large United States administrative claims databases (IMPACT and Humana), this longitudinal retrospective study examined two cohorts of adult patients with T2DM. Previously on insulin glargine, Cohort 1 either continued insulin glargine (GLA-C) or switched to insulin detemir (DET-S), while Cohort 2 was previously on insulin detemir, and either continued insulin detemir (DET-C) or switched to insulin glargine (GLA-S). One-year follow-up treatment persistence and adherence, glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), hypoglycemia events, healthcare utilization and costs were assessed. Selection bias was minimized by propensity score matching between treatment groups within each cohort.
Results: A total of 5,921 patients (mean age 60 years, female 50.0%, HbA1c 8.6%) were included in the analysis (Cohort 1: IMPACT: n = 536 DET-S matched to n = 2,668 GLA-C; Humana: n = 256 DET-S matched to n = 1,262 GLA-C; Cohort 2: n = 419 GLA-S matched to n = 780 DET-C), with similar baseline characteristics between treatment groups in each cohort. During 1-year follow-up, in Cohort 1, DET-S patients, when compared with GLA-C patients, had lower treatment persistence/adherence with 33-40% restarting insulin glargine, higher rapid-acting insulin use, worse HbA1c outcomes, significantly higher diabetes drug costs, and similar hypoglycemia rates, health care utilization and total costs. However, in Cohort 2 overall opposite outcomes were observed and only 19.8% GLA-S patients restarted insulin detemir.
Conclusions: This study showed contrasting clinical and economic outcomes when patients with T2DM switched basal insulin analogs, with worse outcomes observed for patients switching from insulin glargine to insulin detemir and improved outcomes when switching from insulin detemir to insulin glargine. Further investigation into the therapeutic interchangeability of insulin glargine and insulin detemir in the real-world setting is needed.
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