Diabetes is a growing epidemic, which affects roughly one in 10 Americans. It is a disease that can be overwhelming and costly to employers and plan sponsors, and has a significant impact on the daily lives of the people who have it. Beyond the nearly 38 million Americans diagnosed with diabetes, millions more are living unaware of their diagnosis, or at risk for the disease. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death, and can lead to serious medical complications including blindness, amputations, kidney failure, and heart disease if left untreated.
Adding to the many medical challenges, diabetes is an expensive and often complicated chronic condition to manage – one study estimates that total cost of diagnosed diabetes was $327 billion in 2017, and the average person living with diabetes spends nearly $10,000 per year on diabetes-related medical costs. The study found diabetes leads to higher overall medical costs for those diagnosed as well – with costs estimated at approximately 2.3 higher than those without diabetes.
November is Diabetes Awareness Month and Dr. Christine Gilroy, chief medical officer at Express Scripts, Evernorth’s Pharmacy Benefits Manager (PBM), sat down with Angela Banks, vice president of policy at the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association, as part of the Pharmacy Benefit podcast. Dr. Gilroy offered her wide breadth of industry insight on diabetes management, and spoke in-depth on some of Evernorth’s holistic solutions and resources, including the Diabetes Care Value program that leverages digital tools and predictive analytics to address the individual needs of patients, support medication adherence, and improve outcomes. Dr. Gilroy also touches on coordinated care and the often overlooked intersection of diabetes and behavioral health complications, as well as the ways PBMs can help partner in the future to help mitigate diabetes through diet and lifestyle management.
Stream the full podcast below to hear how Evernorth is working to support people living with diabetes, improve access to care, and protect against the economic costs for patients and plan sponsors.