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Insulin Rx Fills Down During the Pandemic

Findings significant for adults, but not pediatric subgroups

FRIDAY, Nov. 5, 2021 (HealthDay News) — There has been a considerable decrease in the average number of weekly insulin prescription fills during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a research letter published online Nov. 3 in JAMA Network Open.

Using data from the U.S. IQVIA Longitudinal Prescription Claims (285,343 individuals), Ismaeel Yunusa, Pharm.D., Ph.D., from the University of South Carolina College of Pharmacy in Columbia, and colleagues assessed whether changes to insulin prescription claims occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The researchers found that the estimated number of insulin prescriptions increased significantly every week before the pandemic by 11.0, but in the first week of the pandemic, the mean number of prescriptions decreased by −395.6 per week, followed by a significant decrease of −55.3 prescriptions per week during the pandemic versus before the pandemic. Specifically, the pandemic was associated with a significant decrease in the estimated mean number of weekly insulin prescriptions in the adult subgroup (−54.2), but not in the pediatric and new prescription subgroups.

“Future studies should examine whether the pandemic was associated with adverse health outcomes associated with suboptimal insulin treatment,” the authors write.

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