gms | German Medical Science

10. Jahrestagung der GAA Gesellschaft für Arzneimittelforschung und Arzneimittelepidemiologie

16. bis 17.10.2003, Bonn

Analysis of insulin prescriptions from claims data of a sickNESS fund

Analyse der Insulinverordnungen auf der Basis von Routinedaten einer Krankenkasse

Meeting Abstract

  • corresponding author Ariane Höer - IGES Institut für Gesundheits- und Sozialforschung, Wichmannstraße 5, 10787 Berlin, Tel.: 030-23 08 09 26
  • H. Gothe - IGES Institut für Gesundheits- und Sozialforschung, Wichmannstraße 5, 10787 Berlin
  • G. Glaeske - ZeS Zentrum für Sozialpolitik, Bremen
  • B. Häussler - IGES Institut für Gesundheits- und Sozialforschung, Wichmannstraße 5, 10787 Berlin

Gesellschaft für Arzneimittelanwendungsforschung u. Arzneimittelepidemiologie (GAA) e.V.. 10. Jahrestagung der Gesellschaft für Arzneimittelforschung und Arzneimittelepidemiologie (GAA) e.V.. Bonn, 16.-17.10.2003. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2003. Doc03gaa02

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: October 16, 2003

© 2003 Höer et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Background and Aim

Insulin formulations can be classified according to duration of action (rapid, intermediate, and long acting; mixtures), and concentration (U40: 40 U/ml; U100: 100 U/ml). Beyond the natural occurring insulins (e.g. human; U40 and U100), insulin analogs (U100 only) with different pharmacokinetic properties have been developed. Our study aimed at analyzing the insulin prescription rates in 2000 and 2001 especially regarding prescriptions of insulin analogs in comparison to other insulins.

Material and Method

Prescription data were obtained from the claims data base of a large sickness fund. The data covered identification numbers (PZN) of the drugs, dates of prescription, numbers of DDD prescribed, age and sex of the insured persons. Data analysis was performed referring to 3-months periods (quarters) of both years 2000 and 2001.


From the first quarter of 2000 to the last quarter of 2001 the number of patients with at least one prescription of any insulin increased from 30.843 to 37.415. The number of prescribed DDD remained constant for the natural U100 insulins, decreased slightly for the U40 insulins and was more than doubled for the insulin analogs. We found nearly constant rates of DDD per insured person with a corresponding prescription for the U40 insulins (about 100/quarter) and the natural U100 insulins (about 120/quarter), but an increase for the insulin analogs of about 100 to 120 DDD/quarter. The proportion of U40 insulins was highest in patients below 40 years (decreasing from 20 to 13 %) and lowest in patients between 55 an 70 years (decreasing from 10 to 5 %). In the age groups below 55 years the proportion of insulin analogs increased from about 20 to 41 %; in patients of 70 years and older from 6 to 17 %. The highest increase of the insulin analog prescriptions was found in the groups of rapid acting (about 1.4-fold) and long acting insulins (about 20-fold).


The proportion of insulin analog prescriptions increased much higher than all insulin prescriptions in the regarded population, especially in patients below 40 years. The demand for the higher comfort attributed to the insulin analogs (injection timing relative to meals) might be greater in younger patients.