CIRFF, Center of Pharmacoeconomics, University of Naples Federico II, Via Domenico Montesano 49, 80131 Naples, Italy.
The treatment of diabetes in the elderly is a major challenge both in terms of clinical management and of public health. Evidence about prescribing patterns in the elderly diabetic population is limited. The aim was to describe trends in antidiabetic drug (AD) utilization patterns in the elderly in Southern Italy with a focus on drugs for cardiovascular prevention and pharmaceutical costs. The data used for this study were obtained from pharmacy records of Caserta Local Health Authority, a province in Southern Italy with 1 million of inhabitants, comprising urban and rural areas. Subjects above 65 years who received at least one dispensing of antidiabetic between January 2010 and December 2014 were selected. Prevalence and incidence rates (%) of AD use were calculated for each calendar year and stratified by class therapy and age group. Sub-analyses by cardiovascular co-medication therapy and pharmaceutical cost analysis were performed. The prevalence rate decreases from 22.0% in 2010 to 17.5% in 2014 (p<0.001). Proportion of subjects treated with monotherapy increases over the study period (33.9% in 2010; 38.6% in 2014; p<0.001). In particular, increases the proportion of users of metformin (18.2% in 2010; 23.7% in 2014; p<0.001), while the proportion of users of sulfonylureas dropped (11.0% in 2010; 7.2% in 2014; p< 0.001). About 90% of elderly diabetic patients are treated with drugs for cardiovascular prevention. The per/patient/yearly drug costs were 2,349 ∈: 28.5% for AD therapy and 71.5% for other treatments. Trend in drug utilization patterns showed a tendency towards treatment recommendations in older adults.
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