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Recent research sheds light on the changes taking place in the medication and treatment of diabetic patients


The study brings out effectiveness data directly from the diabetics

In cooperation with Finnish pharmacies, the University of Eastern Finland and the polyclinic of endocrinology of the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa, Farenta is making a study to evaluate the effects of the changes in the reimbursement status of the diabetes medicines on the medicinal treatment and health status of patients with type 2 diabetes (DM2).

The study will bring out effectiveness data directly from the diabetics. The baseline material of the study included answers from nearly 1,000 patients and was collected at the pharmacies participating in the study in cooperation with Farenta during November and December, 2016, just before the changes of the reimbursement status became effective. The follow-up period of one year will evaluate the effects of the changes in the reimbursement status on the medication and treatment results of diabetic patients, and the possible reasons behind these.

The follow-up surveys also allow us to get information on the economic burden related to the buying of the medicines, and the potential changes in this. The material of the follow-up survey for the first 6 months, comprising over 600 respondents, has during the autumn brought up the first hints of the changes that have taken place in the treatment of diabetic patients. More information of the study will be published during early 2018, when the results of the 12-month follow-up are available.

The results of the 6month follow-up show that more than a third of the respondents had had changes in the medication early in the year. At the time of the baseline survey, a large number or patients (75%) had been using their existing diabetes medication for more than a year. In the follow-up period, most of the medication discontinuations concerned DPP-4 and SGLT2 inhibitors, incretin mimetics and oral combination drugs.

More than a half of those discontinuing their medication did not start any other medicine to replace the discontinued one. Every fifth responder who had discontinued the use of a non-insulin drug stated that they had discontinued the treatment of their own accord, without discussing it with a doctor. The share of patients using a combination of several diabetes medicines (a combination of at least 3 drugs) decreased by 50%. Most patients who started insulin treatment stated that this was due to economic reasons.