At the American Diabetes Association’s 78th Scientific Sessions, researchers presented ways in which education—for both patients and providers—can help improve the care of patients with diabetes who use biosimilar or follow-on insulins.
At the American Diabetes Association’s 78th Scientific Sessions, held from June 22 to 26 in Orlando, Florida, researchers presented ways in which education—for both patients and providers—can help improve the care of patients with diabetes who use biosimilar or follow-on insulins.
Educational Program Benefits Patients Initiating Biosimilar Insulin
Researchers from Bangalore, India, presented on a structured patient education program—the Insulin Therapy Assistance Program—developed by biosimilar maker Biocon (which funded the research) for patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D) who receive biosimilar insulin therapy with either human insulin or basal insulin.1
A total of 10,426 patients with T2D enrolled in the patient program, and received training on diabetes, lifestyle management, diet, exercise, and general healthcare issues from trained and certified healthcare providers. These patients were observed at 3, 6, and 9 months after beginning the program and initiating their biosimilar insulin therapy.
Mean blood glucose was significantly reduced from a baseline level of 183.78 (standard deviation [SD], 54.74) to 145.15 (SD, 33.79) at month 3, and further reduced to 132.80 (SD, 29.38) and 133.98 (SD, 25.13) at months 6 and 9, respectively. Glycated hemoglobin fell from 10.10% (SD, 1.75%) at baseline to 7.85% (SD, 1.06%) at the end of month 9.
Not only was the biosimilar insulin used in the program safe and well tolerated among the enrolled patients, concluded the authors, but the patient education program helped produce significant improvement in patients’ glycemic parameters.
Continuing Medical Education Improves Provider Competence With Follow-on Insulin
American researchers also reported on the benefits of educational programs, this time with a focus on healthcare providers. The research team sought to assess how an online, video-based, continuing medical education (CME) roundtable activity could improve clinical knowledge and competence among primary care physicians (PCPs) and specialists in diabetes and endocrinology with respect to follow-on basal insulin use (in the United States, subsequent-entry insulins are not currently regulated as biosimilars but instead as follow-on biologic products).2
In the online activity, which launched in February 2017, PCPs (n = 284) demonstrated a lower baseline knowledge of follow-on basal insulin than did specialists (n = 57); only 9% of PCPs, versus 23% of specialists, correctly identified pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic data for follow-on insulin glargine. Similarly, only 14% of PCPs, versus 30% of specialists, correctly identified a patient for whom a follow-on basal insulin would be a good therapeutic option.
After completing the activity, both PCPs and specialists demonstrated improvements in their knowledge, with 56% more PCPs and 38% more specialists accurately identifying patients who would be appropriate candidates for follow-on basal insulin use. In addition, 30% more PCPs and 16% more specialists correctly identified PK and PD data for follow-on insulin glargine post-activity.
Notably, after the activity, 61% of PCPs and 37% of specialists reported that they had increased confidence in switching patients with T2D to follow-on insulin glargine.
The authors state that their study demonstrates the success of such CME activities on improving clinical knowledge and competence with follow-on insulin products among healthcare providers.
1. Jabeen S, Pawar D, Vs S, Raj P. Impact of Insulin Therapy Assistance Program, a Patient Support Program, on 10,426 Indian T2DM patients to assess safety and efficacy with biosimilar insulin. Presented at The American Diabetes Association 78th Scientific Sessions, June 22-26, 2018; Orlando, Florida. Poster 1059-P. ada.apprisor.org/epsAbstractADA.cfm?id=1.
2. Larkin A, Dropkin J, Le A. Follow-on basal insulin—can online CME improve clinical knowledge and ability to use effectively? Presented at The American Diabetes Association 78th Scientific Sessions, June 22-26, 2018; Orlando, Florida. Poster 1005-P. ada.apprisor.org/epsAbstractADA.cfm?id=1.