Survey: Over One in Three Patients Fail to Take Insulin as Prescribed
Source: Novo Nordisk Press Release

More than one in three diabetes patients skip doses or fail to take their insulin as prescribed, stating that they have done so on average three times in the last month, and 77 percent of physicians estimate that in reality this number could be as high as six doses (4.22 for basal insulin and 5.76 for meal related insulin), according to the Global Attitudes of Patients and Physicians in Insulin Therapy (GAPP™) survey, recently released by Novo Nordisk.

The global survey, conducted in eight countries among almost 3,000 respondents, also showed that 88 percent of physicians report that there are a significant proportion of patients still not reaching blood glucose targets, and four in 10 people with diabetes say they struggle to effectively control their blood sugar. These results are in line with previous research which has shown that globally less than half of people with diabetes reach an optimal level of health and quality of life.

"The GAPP™ survey was designed to uncover the challenges patients and physicians are facing in obtaining effective outcomes in insulin therapy and it appears that busy lifestyles and difficulty in adhering to prescribed regimens are key contributing factors to poor glycemic control," says Professor Luigi Meneghini, associate director at the Diabetes Research Institute, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Florida. He continues: "These results are consistent across countries and it is encouraging to see that physicians understand and empathize with the issues people with diabetes face."

Busy lives make it hard to comply with prescribed regimens
Change in normal routines, being too busy or simply forgetting to take the insulin are the main reasons cited by both patients and physicians for patients missing insulin doses.

More than half of physicians agree that their patients find it hard to comply with their regimens, particularly managing the number of injections and strict time constraints of some regimens. These findings are supported by previous research which showed that fewer than one in five people with diabetes (19.4 percent of those with type 1 diabetes and 16.2 percent of those with type 2 diabetes) completely complied with all aspects of their prescribed regimens.

Fear of hypoglycemia may contribute to poor control

Another key factor that may contribute to poor glycemic control is fear of hypoglycemia. Sixty-seven percent of patients taking insulin are concerned about experiencing a hypoglycemic event in the future and physicians share patients` concerns with 74 percent stating that they would treat closer to recommended targets if it weren`t for fear of major hypoglycemic events.

People with diabetes are looking for less invasive insulin options
The survey also revealed that nine in 10 patients wish there was an insulin that could be dosed less than once a day and effectively manage blood sugar and 67 percent of them feel that diabetes has controlled their life since starting insulin. At the same time, the survey reveals a third of physicians are dissatisfied with current regimens` ability to fit into patients dynamic lifestyles.


About the GAPP™ Survey
The Global Attitudes of Patients and Physicians in Insulin Therapy (GAPP™) survey was conducted in eight countries with the objective to learn what physicians and patients perceive to be the biggest functional and emotional unfulfilled needs and challenges in the management of diabetes today, specifically relating to insulin treatment. Independent research analysts conducted a 20-minute quantitative survey among 2,780 respondents in the US, UK, Germany, Spain, France, China, Japan and Turkey. The respondents were made up of 1,250 physicians (n=650 PCPs; n=600 specialists) and 1,530 insulin-using diabetes patients (n=180 type 1, n=1,350 type 2).


Originally posted by DiabetesCare.net on September 30, 2010.