A study by researchers at CVS Caremark, Harvard University and Brigham and Women’s Hospital concluded that physicians in 35% of a sample of newly diagnosed diabetes cases did not follow the consensus recommended treatment guidelines of the American Diabetes Association/European Association for the Study of Diabetes in prescribing lower cost generic medication as an initial treatment regimen. The study involved a review of CVS Caremark’s pharmacy insurance claims for 254,000 patients started on diabetes medications.
The variation in prescribed treatment was significant from a cost perspective. Researchers calculated that the recommended generic intervention costs each patient an average of $1120.00 less per year than the average annual cost to the patients started on other medications. Projecting the variations in initial therapy seen in the review to a nationwide scale, with two million new cases of diabetes each year, the recommended therapy saves $420 million per year.
CVS Caremark, Harvard and Brigham and Women’s have been working in cooperation for three years to assist in research looking to improve pharmacy care.