PLoS ONE | 2019
National ambulatory care non-insulin antidiabetic medication prescribing trends in the United States from 2009 to 2015
Objective Despite their efficacy in lowering hemoglobin A1c, recent data suggest that sulfonylureas are associated with cardiovascular risk and hypoglycemia. The objective of this study was to determine whether prescribers decreased sulfonylurea use in favor of newer medications in the United States over seven years. Research design and methods This cross-sectional study utilized data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey. Patient visits between 2009 and 2015 were included for patients who were at least 18 years old, had a documented prescription for a non-insulin antidiabetic medication, and a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. Sample survey data were extrapolated to national estimates using data weights. Prescribing rates were calculated as the number of visits with a documented medication class divided by the total number of visits with a prescription for any diabetes medication class, times 100%. Results A total of 303 million patient visits were included in this study. The median (IQR) patient age was 64 (55–73) years old and 49.8% were male. Sulfonylurea prescribing rates decreased from 43% in 2009 to 36.5% in 2015. Prescribing of GLP-1 receptor agonists increased from 2009 to 2014 (3.95% to 5.30%), but then decreased to 4.19% in 2015. SGLT-2 inhibitor prescribing began in 2013 and increased to 7.3% by 2015. Metformin prescribing remained relatively stable over the study period (range 70% to 72%). Conclusions National ambulatory sulfonylurea prescribing decreased from 2009 to 2015 with a corresponding increase in newer non-insulin antidiabetic agent prescribing.