The Diabetes Dilemma - A Growing Epidemic

According to the Centers of Disease Control, diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in the United States. It is a progressive disease that can cause many serious complications. Chronically elevated blood sugar levels can wreak havoc on your body. Untreated, diabetes can cause several life altering -and even life threatening - conditions, such as heart disease, heart attacks and stroke, kidney failure and blindness. More recent studies have even shown a possible connection between diabetes and Alzheimers. So how does this all play a role in impacting self-funded employers' health care costs? Let's find out:

Non-Adherence is a Problem
Diabetes affects nearly 30 million Americans. Unfortunately, there is not a one size fits all treatment solution. Every person requires personalized attention and treatment. Co-morbidities and complications make diabetes a difficult, costly challenge that can only be controlled with a high standard of clinical care. 87% of those with diabetes have related conditions - high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and depression. Of these people, about 25% are prescribed antidepressants. Yet, over 36% of those with diabetes are not taking their medications as prescribed.

Cost for Traditional Therapy is High
The main reason for non-adherence is cost. Pure and simple. Diabetes is the #1 most costly traditional therapy class and has accounted for $176 billion annually in medical costs. Employer costs are three times higher for their members with diabetes vs. those without. Not only do employers shoulder the cost of high healthcare, but they also take an indirect cost hit from lost workforce productivity due to diabetic related ailments if their employees cannot afford to adhere to their treatment.

There are Effective Resources!
Fortunately, there are resources available to not only help lower employer costs, but also to help employees stay adherent to their treatment. Synergy’s Pharmacist Advocate is excited to provide our clients FREE one on one Medication Therapy Management services. Our aim is to optimize drug therapy and improve health outcomes. How?
  • By speaking with the patient. 
  • By discussing affordable options. 
  • By increasing awareness about the disease and how to manage it. 
  • By discussing advantages of healthy nutrition and exercise, including creating an action plan. 
  • By keeping in touch with the patient to provide encouragement to stick to their plan.
  • By discussing how to prevent or reduce drug-related risks.  
Research published in Health Affairs about diabetes therapy management programs shows that pharmacist interaction with patients and their doctors increased patient medication adherence rates and safety, therefore reducing overall healthcare costs for both employers and their patients.

Let Synergy Help YOU With Your Pharmacy Benefit Plan!
Pharmacy benefits are complicated, but services are available to help employers understand the complex prescription drug ecosystem. These services give employers and brokers the confidence that they can secure competitively priced PBM contracts, and maintain affordable, high-quality prescription drug coverage for their employees. So, for employers with midyear medical and pharmacy contracts expiring who are troubled by benefit costs and increasing trends, why not schedule a 30 minute conversation with me to discuss your concerns and needs!

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Pharmacy Benefit Management Solutions

Synergy Pharmacy Benefit Consultants, LLC
2111 Bagnell Dam Blvd #37
Lake Ozark, MO 65049


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