Economic Benefit of Statin-Triglyceride Combination Therapy in Diabetes

HealthDay News – For patients with type 2 diabetes, there is a substantial economic benefit to treatment with statin-triglyceride (TG)-specific combination lipid therapy compared with monotherapy or no lipid pharmacotherapy, according to a study published in The American Journal of Cardiology.

Gregory A. Nichols, PhD, from the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland, Oregon, and colleagues examined the economic impact of TG-lowering therapies in an observational cohort study involving 184,932 patients with diabetes who had 2 TG measurements 3 to 15 months apart. Four therapy groups were identified: statin monotherapy (77.6%), TG-specific monotherapy (0.5%), statin/TG-specific combination therapy (1.1%), or no therapy (20.8%). These groups were stratified by percent change in TG.

The researchers found that statin/TG-specific agent recipients had a mean 1-year total cost reduction of $1110, after adjustment for covariates. Statin/TG-specific combination therapy patients who reduced TG levels by ≥30% had the greatest cost reduction (−$2859). A large reduction in adjusted costs was also seen for statin monotherapy patients who reduced TG by ≥30% (−$1079).

“In conclusion, we found a substantial economic benefit to treating diabetic patients with statin/TG-specific combination lipid therapy compared with monotherapy of either type or no lipid pharmacotherapy,” the authors wrote. “A TG reduction of ≥30% produced a particularly large reduction in 1-year medical costs.”

Disclosures: The study was funded by an agreement between Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research and AstraZeneca. Several authors disclosed financial ties to AstraZeneca, and one disclosed ties to other pharmaceutical companies.

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Nichols GA, Reynolds K, Olufade T, et al. Effect of combination cholesterol-lowering therapy and triglyceride-lowering therapy on medical costs in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Am J Cardiol. 2017;119(3):410-415. doi:10.1016/j.amjcard.2016.10.029