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Cost comparison of insulin glargine with insulin detemir in a basal-bolus regime with mealtime insulin aspart in type 2 diabetes in Germany

Keywords: insulin glargine , insulin detemir , basal insulin , type 2 diabetes , cost analysis

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Objective: To compare the treatment costs of insulin glargine (IG; Lantus ) to detemir (ID; Levemir ), both combined with bolus insulin aspart (NovoRapid ) in type 2 diabetes (T2D) in Germany. Methods: Cost comparison was based on data of a 1-year randomised controlled trial [1]. IG was administered once daily and ID once (57% of patients) or twice daily (43%) according to treatment response. At the end of the trial, mean daily basal insulin doses were 0.59 U/kg (IG) and 0.82 U/kg (ID). Aspart doses were 0.32 U/kg (IG) and 0.36 U/kg (ID). Costs were calculated from the German statutory health insurance (SHI) perspective using official 2008 prices. Sensitivity analyses were performed to test robustness of the results. Results: Annual basal and bolus insulin costs per patient were € 1,473 (IG) and € 1,940 (ID). The cost of lancets and blood glucose test strips were € 1,125 (IG) and € 1,286 (ID). Annual costs for needles were € 393 (IG) and € 449 (ID). The total annual cost per patient of administering IG was € 2,991 compared with € 3,675 for ID, translating into a 19% annual cost difference of € 684/patient. Base case results were robust to varying assumptions for insulin dose, insulin price, change in weight and proportion of ID once daily administrations. Conclusion: IG and ID basal-bolus regimes have comparative safety and efficacy, based on the Hollander study, IG however may represent a significantly more cost saving option for T2D patients in Germany requiring basal-bolus insulin analogue therapy with potential annual cost savings of € 684/patient compared to ID.


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