The clinical trial data is clear; lower blood pressure, LDL cholesterol, and A1C numbers reduce future diabetes-related complications such as cardiovascular disease (CVD), retinopathy and neuropathy. These are long-term complications, however, and for payors these long-term savings may not fit into their shorter-term business models. This large, well-done study released today used national survey data to accurately calculate mean annual healthcare expenditures. They limited the analysis to people without CVD and found impressive differences in expenditures between people with and without cardiac risk factors such as hypertension, dyslipidemia and smoking. People with diabetes and well-controlled risk factors had annual savings of over $2,500 compared to those with poorly controlled risk factors. People without diabetes who had well controlled risk factors had even lower expendtures, with most of the savings coming from lower prescription costs. Better use of generic medications and a more competitive insulin market (see post from February 13) would decrease the gap in costs between those with and without diabetes.
See abstract of article here.