Preventive drug lists lead to increased use of essential medications for diabetes

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For diabetic patients in high-deductible health plans (HDHPs), the introduction of preventive drug lists (PDLs)—with no copayments for preventive medications—is associated with lower out-of-pocket costs and increased use of essential medications, reports a study in Medical Care.

The researchers evaluated a natural experiment using data on commercially insured patients with diabetes enrolled in HDHPs (individual deductible at least $1000) linked to health savings accounts. Approximately 1750 patients in an intervention group were switched by their employers to PDL coverage. This meant that essential medications and supplies for preventing adverse outcomes of diabetes—including antidiabetic drugs, insulin, test strips, and