Background: COVID-public health measures may have impacted diabetes care through delayed care and reduced medication access. This study describes antihyperglycemic medication prescription patterns among adults with type 2 diabetes (T2D) before and during the COVID-pandemic in Canada.

Methods: Using IQVIA’s longitudinal pharmacy based prescription data, antihyperglycemic prescriptions from March 1, 2018 to February 28, 2021 were analyzed among adults who had ≥1 prescription for a non-insulin antihyperglycemic drug. The number of people who:

  • 1) had antihyperglycemic prescriptions,

  • 2) were newly started on antihyperglycemic drugs, and

  • 3) were newly diagnosed with T2D (inferred from prescriptions) were reported.

Results: The number of people who had ≥1 antihyperglycemic prescription was comparable in the year of the COVID-pandemic (March 2020 to February 2021) and the year prior (March 20to February 2020) . The number of people who newly initiated a GLP-1RA, SGLT2i or second-generation basal insulin analogue decreased for the first few months of the pandemic (April to September 2020) with recovery thereafter. The number of people who were newly diagnosed with T2D decreased by 7% in the COVID-year.

Conclusion: Fewer people initiated newer antihyperglycemic medications and fewer people were newly diagnosed with T2D in the first few months for the pandemic which may reflect reduced health care access.


A.Y.Cheng: Advisory Panel; Abbott, AstraZeneca, Bayer AG, Boehringer Ingelheim International GmbH, Dexcom, Inc., Eli Lilly and Company, HLS Theraoeutics, Insulet Corporation, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Medtronic, Novo Nordisk, Sanofi, Board Member; Type 1 Diabetes Think Tank Network, Other Relationship; Diabetes Canada, Speaker's Bureau; Bausch Health, Canada, Merck & Co., Inc. R.Goldenberg: Consultant; IQVIA Inc., Speaker's Bureau; Amgen Canada, AstraZeneca, Boehringer Ingelheim International GmbH, Eli Lilly and Company, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Merck & Co., Inc., Novo Nordisk Canada Inc., Sanofi. I.E.Krawchenko: Speaker's Bureau; Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. R.Tytus: Other Relationship; Banty , Boehringer Ingelheim International GmbH, Canadian Health Research Company, Merck & Co., Inc., Novo Nordisk, Pfizer Inc. J.Hahn: Employee; Novo Nordisk Canada Inc. A.R.Liu: Employee; Novo Nordisk A/S, Novo Nordisk Canada Inc. T.Lan: Other Relationship; Novo Nordisk Canada Inc. B.Millson: Other Relationship; Novo Nordisk Canada Inc. S.B.Harris: Consultant; Abbott, AstraZeneca, Eli Lilly and Company, Novo Nordisk, Sanofi, Other Relationship; Abbott, AstraZeneca, Bayer Inc., Dexcom, Eli Lilly and Company, HLS Therapeutics, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Novo Nordisk, Sanofi, Research Support; Applied Therapeutics Inc., AstraZeneca, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) , Novo Nordisk, Sanofi, The Lawson Foundation.

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