The cost of diabetes care has more than doubled in the past two decades

A new study put together by Xiaohui Zhou, a health economist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), shows that the average cost of managing diabetes is increasing at a startling rate. The increase is due to both an increase in amount of care and increase in the price of drugs. Zhou and […]

A new study put together by Xiaohui Zhou, a health economist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), shows that the average cost of managing diabetes is increasing at a startling rate.

The increase is due to both an increase in amount of care and increase in the price of drugs. Zhou and colleagues looked at data from the National Medical Expenditure Survey from 1987, 2000-2001 and 2010-2011. It involved 22,538 people in all, and they found that an average diabetes patient now spends $2,790 a year more than in 1987.

“People need to be mindful about the substantial increase in the cost of diabetes, which has been partially fueled by the rising prices of newer drugs,” Zhou said.

It’s a little bit more complicated than just drug prices.

Though not involved in the study, Tim Dall, a managing director with IHS Life Sciences who studies the economic side of diabetes care, said the American Diabetes Association has previously found that “a large portion of diabetes-related costs are associated with the complications of diabetes rather than with treating diabetes itself,” according to Reuters.

It’s not all bad – Dall added: “The average medical cost to treat people with diabetes has been increasing over time, but patients are getting better care and living longer.”

Regardless, some additional changes need to be made. “This growing trend of diabetes cost is simply unsustainable. Besides the efforts to bend the treatment cost, the efforts to reduce the number of future diabetes patients are imperative,” Zhou said.

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