(HealthDay News) — A considerable proportion of patients with type 2 diabetes may be self-monitoring blood glucose inappropriately, according to a research letter published online in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Kevin D. Platt, MD, from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and colleagues performed a retrospective analysis of claims data to quantify the rate of use and cost of self-monitoring blood glucose supplies that are potentially used inappropriately, focusing on test strips. The authors followed individuals with type 2 diabetes for at least 1 year after filling a prescription for test strips. If no prescription was filled, they following individuals for the calendar year of 2014.

A total of 370,740 individuals with type 2 diabetes met the inclusion criteria; during the year, 23.4% (86,747 individuals) filled 3 or more claims for test strips. The researchers found that 51,820 individuals (14% of the study population) were deemed to be potentially using the supplies inappropriately; 32,773 and 19,047 individuals were taking agents not considered to be a risk for causing hypoglycemia and had no claims for any antidiabetic medications, respectively. These groups used a median of 2.0 strips per day. Per person, per year, the median claims cost for test strips was $325.54. The mean consumer copayment was $18.14 annually for test strips.

“Strategies to improve engagement among clinicians and to educate patients are warranted to reduce low-value care,” the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical and health care industries.

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Platt KD, Thompson AN, Lin P, et al. Assessment of Self-monitoring of Blood Glucose in Individuals With Type 2 Diabetes Not Using Insulin. JAMA Intern Med. Published online December 10, 2018. JAMA Intern Med. DOI:10.1001/jamainternmed.2018.5700