Cost of diabetes care has nearly doubled in six years

Over the course of the last six years, the cost of diabetes medicine in the U.S. has nearly doubled, from $6.7 billion in 2001 to $12.5 billion in 2007, according to a new study that appeared in the Archives of Internal Medicine. Often, that's been due to the use of newer, more expensive drugs like Avandia over old-line, cheaper treatments like metformin, the study found.

Researchers from Stanford University and the University of Chicago compiled results from two databases to find the cost of diabetes medicines between 2001 and 2007. Their research, which was funded by the NIH, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, found that not only had the medications commonly prescribed for diabetes increased in cost, but patients were much more likely to be on more than one medication for their diabetes. The question that remains open for study: Are the increases in cost generating equivalent improvements in patient outcomes? (It doesn't seem likely.)

To learn more about the study:
- Read this Kaiser Daily Health Policy piece