Introduction: A dedicated Humulin R U-500 (U-500R) prefilled disposable insulin pen (KwikPen) became available in 2016, yet limited evidence exists on treatment patterns and outcomes of U-500R via KwikPen (U500-KP).
Methods: This is a retrospective observational study among adults with ≥2 claims for type 2 diabetes initiating U500-KP (index date: first claim) identified in Veterans Health Administration database. Treatment patterns and outcomes were evaluated in 9-month pre- and post-index periods, including dispensed total daily insulin dosage derived from claims expressed in units (dTDD) and units/kg, HbA1c, symptomatic hypoglycemia, and body weight. Multivariable modeling was used to confirm the associations between U500-KP initiation and outcomes.
Results: A total of 647 U500-KP initiators were identified. The mean age was 64 years, and mean Quan-Charlson Comorbidity-index score was 3.8. Before U500-KP initiation, 62% of patients had dTDD ≤ 200 units with mean A1c 9.5%. Mean dTDD increased from 188.2 to 269.9 units after U500-KP initiation with mean A1c decreased by 0.83% (SD = 1.67) and mean weight gain of 1.5 kg (SD = 6.74). Hypoglycemia events increased from 4.3 to 5.3 (p < 0.05) per person per year.
Conclusions: Initiation of U500-KP brought significant improvement in dispensed insulin dose and glycemic control accompanied by moderate increases in hypoglycemia and weight.
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