STAT+: Industry payments to doctors are associated with increased prescribing of long-acting insulin

Amid ongoing concern over the cost of insulin, a new study finds that payments made by manufacturers to physicians were associated with a larger number of more expensive prescriptions for long-acting versions covered by Medicare.

More than 51,800 physicians received industry payments worth $22.3 million in 2016, and they wrote, on average, 135 prescriptions for the diabetes treatment in 2017, compared with 77 prescriptions written by doctors who did not receive payments from insulin makers. The larger number of prescriptions resulted in an average Medicare Part D claim of $300, which was $71 more than claims generated by doctors who did not receive payments.

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