Glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1 RA) are preferred injectable therapies for type 2 diabetes, but it is uncertain if advantages justify higher medication cost. This real-world, retrospective cohort study at eight ambulatory care sites evaluated change in monthly glucose-lowering medication cost, HbA1c, weight and polytherapy at GLP-1 RA initiation (baseline) and after 6-12 months (follow-up). The population was analyzed as a whole and as subgroups based on baseline medication regimen and demographics.
Results: The study population (n=120) was 67.5% female, age 55.8±11.7 years, obese, 71% minority, equal English and non-English speaking, had high pill and injection burden, and baseline HbA1c 10%. Figure 1 summarizes changes in monthly glucose-lowering medication costs. Overall change in HbA1c was -1.7%, p<0.001. This decrease was consistent in each baseline medication regimen subgroup. Weight decreased overall (-1.8kg, p<0.001), and there was a significant shift to taking fewer oral agents and insulin as well as fewer daily injections, but no meaningful differences were noted when stratified by age (<65 or ≥65 years), gender, English vs. non-English speaking, or race.
Conclusion: Although a positive impact resulted in glycemic control, weight, and reducing polytherapy 6-12 months after adding a GLP-1 RA to the medication regimen, the increase to monthly medication cost will serve as a barrier to treatment.
M. Jacobs: None. T. Rose: None. D.J. Reid: None. C. Bouwmeester: None. M. Conley: None. B. Fatehi: None. T.M. Matta: None. J. Barr: None.