A typical health plan can expect endocrine and diabetes agents to amount to six to eight percent of total utilization costs, with spending on these agents to increase between 11 and 15 percent in 2005. While spending for insulin and oral hypoglycemic agents was on the rise from 2000 to 2003, according to figures compiled by Medco Health Solutions, the use of strips and meters also increased — a good sign that patients are getting the message that regular testing can help control the condition and thus reduce overall medical costs. Medco reports further that the daily cost of insulin therapy more than doubled over five years, from $1.06 per day in January 1999 to $2.20 per day in December 2003, and the unit cost (the amount a daily dose of medication costs the plan) for insulin increased 17.6 percent in 2003 from the previous year.
Breakdown of costs and prevalence of diabetes treatments
Source: Medco Health Solutions Inc.. (samples for years 2000–2001, 2001–2002, 2002–2003)