The high cost of insulin has caused problems in managing diabetes. Researchers conducted a survey to determine the prevalence of cost-related insulin deficiency in a primary care setting. They examined the frequency of cost-related underuse of insulin within a year of a patient being diagnosed with diabetes.
Ninety respondents completed the survey. Of those who completed the survey, 44% had tried substandard treatment associated with cost. Participants who reported less use were about nine times more likely to have difficulty purchasing diabetes supplies than those who did not report less use. However, the majority of respondents who experienced cost issues said they had discussed it with the prescriber, greatly increasing the likelihood that the doctor would change the insulin.
Participants with poorly controlled diabetes were not more likely to report less use. The authors recommend that primary care physicians use empathy when asking about cost barriers as some patients may be reluctant to talk about their challenges obtaining insulin.