This study compared the clinical and economic outcomes of long-term use of liraglutide versus sitagliptin for the treatment of type 2 diabetes (T2DM) in real-world practice in the USA.
We identified adult patients (≥ 18 years old) with T2DM who initiated liraglutide or sitagliptin in 2010–2014 using a large claims database. Quarterly glycemic control measures and annual healthcare costs were assessed during the 1st and 2nd years of persistent medication use. Their associations with medication use (liraglutide or sitagliptin) were estimated using multivariable regression models adjusted for patient demographic and clinical characteristics.
A total of 3113 patients persistently used liraglutide (N = 493) or sitagliptin (N = 2620) for ≥ 1 year [mean age (standard deviation, SD): 53 (8.5) vs. 56 (9.7) years; 48.3% vs. 62.3% males; both p < 0.05]; 911 (including 113 liraglutide users) were persistent users for ≥ 2 years. During the 1st-year follow-up, liraglutide users (versus sitagliptin users, after adjustment) experienced larger glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) reductions from baseline (ranging from 0.34%-point in quarter 1 to 0.21%-point in quarter 4); higher likelihoods of obtaining HbA1c reductions of ≥ 1%-points or ≥ 2%-points [odds ratios (ORs) range 1.47–2.04]; and higher likelihoods of reaching HbA1c goals of < 6.5% or < 7% (ORs range 1.51–2.12) (all p < 0.05). Liraglutide users also experienced HbA1c reductions from baseline in the 2nd-year follow-up (0.53–0.33%-point, all p < 0.05). Although liraglutide users incurred higher healthcare costs than sitagliptin users during the 1st-year follow-up, they had $2674 (per patient) lower all-cause medical costs (adjusted cost ratio: 0.67, p < 0.05) and similar total costs (all-cause and diabetes-related) in the 2nd year.
Long-term use of liraglutide for 1 or 2 years was associated with better glycemic control than using sitagliptin. Savings in medical costs were realized for liraglutide users during the 2nd year of persistent treatment, which offset differences in pharmacy costs.
Novo Nordisk Inc.