In a very surprising report in the American Journal of Managed Care, Peter Cunningham and Emily Carter presented an analysis of the out-of-pocket costs for patient with diabetes. Over the years between 2001 and 2009, per-patient spending on prescriptions fell from $1,095 to $763, accounting for the bulk of the savings. This is due, in large part, to the shift from brand-name to generic drugs. As life-saving products to control blood sugar, but also cholesterol, blood pressure, depression and other common co-occurring conditions go off patent, they become available to many more patients without destroying their families. During the period of the study, the percentage of patients with "high financial burdens" (spending more than 10% of the family income on health care) fell from 23.9 to 18.6. What a relief - for patients, families and payers!
P. Cunningham and E. Carrier, “Trends in the Financial Burden of Medical Care for Nonelderly Adults with Diabetes, 2001 to 2009,”American Journal of Managed Care, Feb. 2014 20(2):135–42.