Patients with both cancer and diabetes have a higher overall mortality rate than patients with a cancer diagnosis alone. So researchers wondered whether a cancer diagnosis affects patient’s adherence to glucose-lowering drugs
They measured the ‘medication possession ratio’ (MPR), by tracking when and how frequently patients refilled their medications, for 3,281 diabetic patients with cancer and 12,891 diabetic patients without cancer. Before a cancer diagnosis, the MPR increased monthly by 0.1% but dropped significantly by 6.3% at diagnosis and continued to fall monthly by 0.2%.
The findings confirm that adherence to glucose-lowering therapies in diabetes patients falls following a cancer diagnosis — but further research is needed to find out why.