Treatment Modification After Initiating Second-Line Medication for Type 2 Diabetes

David T. Liss*, Manisha Cherupally, Matthew J. O’Brien, Raymond H. Kang, Cassandra Aikman, Amisha Wallia, Andrew J. Cooper, Eleena Koep, Emily D. Parker, Ronald T. Ackermann

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES: To describe changes in antidiabetic medication (ADM) use and characteristics associated with changes in ADM use after initiation of noninsulin second-line therapy. STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study. METHODS: This study analyzed private health plan claims for adults with type 2 diabetes who initiated 1 of 5 index ADM classes: sulfonylureas, dipeptidyl peptidase 4 inhibitors (DPP4is), sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitors, glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1 RAs), or thiazolidinediones. Analyses evaluated 3 treatment modification outcomes—discontinuation, switching, and intensification—over 12-month follow-up. RESULTS: Of 82,624 included adults, nearly two-thirds (63.6%) experienced any treatment modification. Discontinuation was the most common modification (38.6%), especially among patients prescribed GLP-1 RAs (50.3%). Switching occurred in 5.2% of patients and intensification in 19.8%. In adjusted analysis, compared with patients prescribed sulfonylureas, discontinuation risk was 7% higher (HR, 1.07; 95% CI, 1.04-1.10) among patients prescribed DPP4is and 28% higher (HR, 1.28; 95% CI, 1.23-1.33) among patients prescribed GLP-1 RAs. Compared with sulfonylureas, all other index ADM classes had higher risks of switching and lower risks of intensification. Younger age group and female sex were both associated with higher risks of all modifications. Compared with index ADM prescription by a family medicine or internal medicine physician, index prescription by an endocrinologist was associated with both lower discontinuation risk and higher intensification risk. CONCLUSIONS: Most patients experienced a treatment modification within 1 year. Results highlight the need for new prescribing approaches and patient supports that can maximize medication adherence and reduce health system waste.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)661-668
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Managed Care
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy


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