The Relationship between Type of Drug Therapy and Blood Glucose Self-Monitoring Test Strips by Beneficiaries of the Seniors' Pharmacare Program in Nova Scotia, Canada

Chiranjeev Sanyal, Stephen D. Graham, Charmaine Cooke, Ingrid Sketris, Dawn M. Frail, Gordon Flowerdew
Research Summary: 

Purpose of Study
The purpose of this study was to assess agreement between test strip use and Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA) guidelines, and to explore the variation in use of test strips by type of treatment, age and sex.

Research Approach/Method
The authors performed retrospective analysis of claims data by treatment group: insulin, oral antihyperglycemic agents (OAA), OAA and insulin, no reimbursed diabetes medications.

Key Overarching Message
Results suggest a high degree of concordance between CDA guideline recommendations and the number of test strips claimed per day in the Nova Scotia Seniors' Pharmacare Program (NSSPP) for the fiscal year 2005/06. The MAC policy minimized the financial burden of test strips on the beneficiaries.

Key Findings
Beneficiaries on insulin therapy only claimed the highest mean (SD) number of test strips per day [2.0 (1.5)] compared to other treatment categories, and more test strips than non insulin users. Significant variation in test strips claimed was observed in each treatment group, highlighting variation in health professionalsí recommendations and patientsí use of these medications. NSSPP covered 91.5%, 87.2%, 92.2%, and 83.2% of the total annual cost for beneficiaries receiving insulin products only, OAA only, insulin products and OAA, and no reimbursed diabetes medications respectively.