- Guidelines call for glucagon prescriptions for diabetes patients at increased risk for clinically significant hypoglycemia.
- Glucagon prescriptions may prevent future emergency department (ED) visits.
Why this matters
- Insulin-related hypoglycemia accounts for nearly 100,000 US ED visits annually, with 30% resulting in admissions.
- Retrospective study of glucagon prescriptions filled after an ED visit for hypoglycemia during January 2011 to June 2014 by 3177 people with type 1 diabetes (T1D) and 10,567 insulin-treated type 2 diabetes (T2D) patients who did not already have an unexpired glucagon prescription within the Truven Health MarketScan Research Database.
- Funding: Eli Lilly and Company.
- Only 10.9% with T1D and 3.5% with T2D filled glucagon prescription within 90 days of ED hypoglycemia visit.
- ED readmissions for hypoglycemia within 30 days of prior visit:
- 9.2% with T1D;
- 11.2% with T2D.
- Percentages filling basal-bolus insulin prescriptions or on commercial insurance were significantly higher with those who did vs did not fill glucagon prescriptions.
- Percentages of people with T1D ≤18 years and with T2D ≥65 years were higher among those who filled glucagon vs those who did not.
- Limitations of insurance claims research, eg, coding errors, incomplete data.
- Assessment limited to prescriptions filled, not ordered.