News Release

Insulin underuse in primary care requires clinicians to remove barriers to patient access

A survey snapshot measuring insulin in underuse in a primary care clinic

Peer-Reviewed Publication

American Academy of Family Physicians

The rising cost of insulin has created problems in diabetes management. Researchers conducted a survey study to determine the prevalence of cost-related insulin underuse in a primary care environment. They examined the frequency of cost-related underuse of insulin within a year of a patient being diagnosed with diabetes. Ninety respondents completed the survey. Among those who completed the survey, 44% experienced cost-related substandard therapy. Participants who reported underuse were approximately nine times more likely to have difficulty purchasing diabetes supplies than those who did not report underuse. However, the majority of respondents experiencing cost-related issues said they discussed it with their prescribers, which significantly increased the likelihood of their doctor changing their insulin. Participants experiencing poor diabetes control were not more likely to report underuse. The authors recommend that primary care physicians use empathy when asking about cost barriers as some patients may be reluctant to speak up about their challenges in obtaining insulin.

A Survey Snapshot Measuring Insulin in Underuse in a Primary Care Clinic

Rick Hess, PharmD, CDCES, BCACP, et al
Department of Pharmacy Practice, Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, Tennessee

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