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Interrogation of a longitudinal, national pharmacy claims dataset to explore factors that predict the need for add-on therapy in older and socioeconomically disadvantaged Australians with type 2 diabetes mellitus patients (T2DM)


PURPOSE: The management of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is complex. The aim of this work is to explore factors that predict the need for add-on therapy in patients with T2DM in the community. METHODS: We accessed longitudinal, pharmacy payment claim records from the national Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) (Subsidises costs of medicines: government pays difference between patient co-payments, lower in concessional patients, and additional cost of drug.) for the period January 2006 to September 2014 (EREC/MI3127) from a 10% random sample of the Australian population validated to be representative of the population by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). Likely, T2DM patients were identified as those having been dispensed a single anti-hyperglycaemic drug (monotherapy). The time taken and possible factors that might lead to the addition of a second therapy were examined. An examination was made of trends in the co-prescription of either antihypertensive or anti-hyperlipidaemic agents in relation to the time (+/- 3 years) of initiating an anti-hyperglycaemic agent. RESULTS: Most (83%) presumed T2DM patients were initiated with metformin. The average time until the second agent was added was 4.8 years (95% CI 4.7-4.9). Satisfactory adherence, age, male gender, initiating therapy after 2012 and initiating with a sulphonylurea drug all were significant risks for add-on therapy. There was no overall trend in the initiation of antihypertensive and/or anti-hyperlipidaemic agents with respect to the time of anti-hyperglycaemic initiation. CONCLUSION: The usefulness of a longitudinal dataset of pharmacy-claim records is demonstrated. Over half of all older and socioeconmically disadvantaged T2DM patients captured in this longitudinal claims database will be prescribed a second anti-hyperglycaemic agent within 5 years of their first drug therapy. Several factors can predict the risk of prescription of add-on therapy, and these should be considered when prescribing medications to treat T2DM.

Type Journal
ISBN 1432-1041 (Electronic) 0031-6970 (Linking)
Authors Kumar, S. S.; McManus, H.; Radovich, T.; Greenfield, J. R.; Viardot, A.; Williams, K. M.; Cronin, P.; Day, R. O.
Responsible Garvan Author A/Prof Alexander Viardot
Published Date 2018-06-24
Status Published in-print
DOI 10.1007/s00228-018-2506-5
URL link to publisher's version