From the Journals

Diabetes spending topped $101 billion in 2013



Spending on diabetes care in the United States showed its upward mobility by rising 175% from $37 billion in 1996 to $101 billion in 2013, according to investigators from the University of Washington, Seattle.

The largest share of personal health spending on diabetes in 2013 went for prescribed retail pharmaceuticals, which tallied over $58 billion. That was followed by ambulatory care at $24 billion, inpatient care at just under $10 billion, nursing home care at $9 billion, and emergency department care at $0.4 billion, Ellen Squires and her associates said in Diabetes Care.

U.S. diabetes spending by type of care, 1996 and 2013
The largest driver of the 175% ($64.4 billion) increase from 1996 to 2013 was the 76% that went to spending per encounter, which includes visits and prescriptions. Rising disease prevalence contributed about 50%, and population age (29.8%) and population size (29.5%) were nearly equal in their contribution, whereas service utilization (the number of visits and prescriptions) actually dropped almost 11%, the investigators said.

“The rate of increase in pharmaceutical spending was especially drastic from 2008 to 2013, and research suggests that these upward trends have continued in more recent years,” Ms. Squires and her associates wrote.

The analysis used data from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation’s Disease Expenditure 2013 database and the Global Burden of Disease 2016 study. The current study was funded by the Peterson Center on Healthcare and the National Institute on Aging. One investigator receives research support from Medtronic Diabetes and is a consultant for Abbott Diabetes Care, Bigfoot Biomedical, Adocia, and Roche. No other relevant conflicts of interest were reported.

SOURCE: Squires E et al. Diabetes Care. 2018 May 10. doi: 10.2337/dc17-1376.

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