NEW YORK A near doubling in the diabetes population and near tripling in costs of treating the disease threatens to create a huge drag on the healthcare system and the economy as a whole, but retail pharmacies have the opportunity to help bring some of those costs down.
A study commissioned by Danish drug maker Novo Nordisk forecasts that by 2034, the American diabetes population will be 44.1 million, while spending on the disease will total $336 billion.
Already, such programs as the 13-year-old Asheville Project, sponsored by the city government of Asheville, N.C., and the American Pharmacists Association’s Diabetes Ten City Challenge show that pharmacists and employers can work together to help diabetes patients manage their disease and ensure they remain compliant with medication regimens, thus helping to reduce costs.
According to data published in the Journal of the American Pharmacists Association, average total healthcare costs when the Diabetes Ten City Challenge program was implemented were $1,079 less per patient per year than when it wasn’t. When employers waived co-pays to encourage patients to participate in the program, patients saved an average of $593 per year on medications and supplies.