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Defeat Diabetes
150 153rd Ave,
Suite 300

Madeira Beach, FL 33708

Many Patients With Diabetes Skip Their Medicine

Posted: Thursday, April 29, 2004

Many physicians wait too long treating with diet and exercise before prescribing medications.

"Now is the time to move ahead by promoting a healthy lifestyle among diabetes patients, regular testing and, when needed, the use of medicines that can help patients maintain their health," said Alan F. Holmer, PhRMA's president.

In a study that followed nearly 195,400 patients with the most common form of diabetes, nearly one in five did not use insulin or other anti-diabetes drugs over an entire year. This group saw doctors more often, spent more time in the hospital and had higher costs for lab tests and home care than patients treated with medicines, said the study, conducted by Massachusetts-based PharMetrics.

In another, smaller sample of 19,000 diabetics, 30 percent took no medications during an entire year, the study said. "These results suggest that there may be much opportunity for improvement in the management of the diabetic patient," it said.

The study examined only people with insurance so that differences in the use of medicines could not be attributed to health care coverage.

Diabetes impairs the body's ability to produce or make proper use of insulin, resulting in elevated blood-sugar levels that can damage the kidneys, heart, eyes and other organs.

More than 16 million Americans have diabetes, but experts think 6 million of them don't know they have the disease. It kills 180,000 people annually.

Source: Diabetes in Control

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