Product News and Recalls

Study says USA’s diabetes costs are $245B

A recent study has put America’s health care and work-related costs related to diabetes at $245 billion in 2012, according to a story in USA Today. That represents a 41 percent increase from 2007, when the cost was $174 billion.

Diabetes, a disease in which blood glucose levels are above normal, is the country’s seventh leading cause of death, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The study, commissioned by the American Diabetes Association, estimated the number of people in the United States with diabetes at 22.3 million in 2012. An earlier study from 2007 put that number at nearly 17.5 million.

Many medical experts attribute the increase in diabetes in part to the country’s rising obesity rates, although there may be other factors as well.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has added warnings to the labels of Lipitor and other variations of the widely used anti-cholesterol drugs called statins, warning that they may increase the risk of Type II diabetes. The new labels also warn that the drugs may raise blood sugar levels, and could cause memory loss.

An American Diabetes Association official said the rising cost appears entirely due to the rising numbers, because the per-patient cost since 2007 has remained roughly flat.

According to the study, direct medical costs totaled $176 billion. That number reflects hospital and emergency care, office visits and medications. Indirect costs – such as absenteeism, reduced or lost productivity, and unemployment caused by diabetes-related disability – amounted to $69 billion.

Patients should consult their doctors before making any changes in their medication. A consultation with a Lipitor lawyer is also important if there are significant injuries.

See the story here: