True or False: In 2015, Americans spent more on insulin glargine than any other drug. The answer and 9 more questions in our quiz.
How much is spent on insulin glargine each year? Are annual expenditures higher for diabetes drugs or for office visits for diabetes care? Does it cost more, less, or the same to treat men vs women with diabetes?
In the May issue of Diabetes Care the American Diabetes Association published results of its study Economic costs of diabetes in the US in 2017. The study updates data from 2012 and demonstrates the increase in the financial burden of diabetes to the country and to patients with the disease.
Find answers to the questions above and see what else you know about the cost of diabetes care in the US.
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Question 1. True or false? The total direct and indirect costs of diabetes rose more than 26% from 2012 to 2017.
Answer: A. True. The total economic burden of diabetes went from an inflation-adjusted estimate of $261 billion in 2012 to $327 billion in 2017. According to the ADA, this jump made diabetes, "the most costly chronic illness in the country."1
Question 2. Of the $327 billion spent on diabetes in 2017, what is the correct breakdown between direct medical costs and indirect costs (in $billions)?
Answer: D. Direct $237 Indirect $90. Direct medical costs for diabetes in 2017 totalled $237 billion and indirect costs (eg, for absenteeism, reduced productivity, premature mortality) accounted for another $90 billion.1
Question 3. True or false? In a written statement the ADA said: “One of every 7 health care dollars is incurred by someone with diagnosed diabetes, and one of every 10 health care dollars is spent directly treating diabetes and its complications.”
Answer: B. False. The ADA actually stated, "One of every 4 health care dollars is incurred by someone with diagnosed diabetes, and one of every 7 health care dollars is spent directly treating diabetes and its complications.”1
Question 4. Of the $237 billion in direct medical costs attributed to diabetes, which of the above accounted for the greatest expense?
Answer: B. Other prescription medications. $71.2 billion of the $237 billion in direct medical costs was for other prescription medications.
Question 5. True or false? In 2015, Americans spent more money on insulin glargine than on any other drug.
Answer: A. True. According to the AHRQ, Americans spent more on insulin glargine in 2015 than any other drug and over half of the 20 biggest-selling drugs for that year were regularly prescribed to diabetes patients.2
Question 6. The estimated total expenditure for insulin glargine in 2015 was $11.1 billion. How much of an increase is that in just 2 years?
Answer: D. 81%. Data from the 2015 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, reported by the AHRQ, show that spending on insulin glargine increased from $6.1 billion in 2013 to $11.1 billion in 2015.2
Question 7. In 2015, what was the the second-highest selling drug (after insulin glargine) used regularly by diabetes patients?
Question 8. Annual per-capita spending on Rx medications in 2017 by diabetes patients exceeded that by patients without diabetes about how many times?
Answer: D. 5 times. In 2017, annual per-capita spending on Rx medications by diabetes patients was approximately $4741 vs $1029 spent by patients without diabetes.
Question 9. True or false? Total annual per-capita health expenditures are higher for women with diabetes than for men.
Answer: B. False. Total annual per-capita health expenditures for men with diabetes is $10 060 vs $9110 for women.
Question 10. People with diabetes without health insurance have 60% fewer physician office visits and are prescribed 52% fewer medications vs people with insurance coverage. But they have more emergency department visits - how much more?
Answer: C. 168%. People with diabetes who do not have health insurance of some form have 168% more emergency department visits vs people who have insurance.
Answer: B. California. The largest diabetes population in the US is found in California where annual costs are approximately $39.47 billion.
1. American Diabetes Association. Economic costs of diabetes in the US in 2017. Diabetes Care. 2018;41:917-928.
2. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Number of people with purchase in thousands by therapeutic class, United States, 1996-2015. Medical Expenditure Panel Survey. Available at: https://meps.ahrq.gov/mepstrends/hc_pmed/.