A survey by CVS/pharmacy finds that financial concerns are an obstacle to care for to many diabetes patients.

CVS/pharmacy, CVS Caremark, diabetes, diabetes care, glucose testing, ExtraCare Advantage for Diabetes, Troy Brennan, American Diabetes Association, American Diabetes Month, A1c test

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CVS poll: Patient cost concerns undercut diabetes care

November 1st, 2010

WOONSOCKET, R.I. – A survey by CVS/pharmacy finds that financial concerns are an obstacle to care for to many diabetes patients.

CVS Caremark Corp. said Monday that the survey, which gauged aspects of disease management and lifestyle for diabetes patients, found that of 3,242 respondents with diabetes, 32% reported they have been less vigilant about daily glucose testing due to cost. Also, 24% said cost has led them to be less conscientious about maintaining a proper diet.

Some patients are more affected than others on the cost issue, according to the study. Those ages 18 to 34 cited much higher neglect of daily glucose testing (42%), proper diet (40%) and medication (29%) because of cost than older age groups. Challenges to maintaining a daily testing regimen were also cited more often by African-American (37%) and Latino (36%) respondents than by Caucasian respondents (30%).

The survey, however, revealed good news about glucose monitoring with an A1c test: 54% of respondents have an A1c test every three months, and 33% receive an A1c test every six months, which is within American Diabetes Association guidelines for patients with diabetes to check these levels at least twice a year. Among the 3,117 survey respondents who received an A1c test, 62% reported their most recently tested A1c level was within the range advised by their doctor.

"Given recent projections from the Centers for Disease Control that as many as one in three American adults could have diabetes by 2050, monitoring and maintaining healthy glucose levels is critical to prevent further complications from the disease and avoid even more significant health care costs," Troy Brennan, chief medical officer for CVS Caremark, said in a statement. "We've established a number of programs to help patients manage their diabetes and the costs associated with the disease."

To support patients with diabetes, CVS/pharmacy's ExtraCare Advantage for Diabetes program helps patients with diabetes keep costs down on an ongoing basis through discounts on supplies necessary to manage their condition. Also, MinuteClinic walk-in health clinics in select CVS/pharmacy stores are offering complimentary A1c tests to those with diabetes in recognition of American Diabetes Month in November. The free tests, sponsored by Bayer Diabetes Care, are available while supplies last.