The annual cost of treating adult cases of diabetes in the United States nearly doubled between 2001 and 2007, according to a study published Monday that questioned the efficacy of new, more expensive drugs.
The increase was due to a rise in the number of sufferers but also higher use of more costly treatments, said the study from researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine and the University of Chicago.
"It's important to recognize how expensive treatment for diabetes has become," said Randall Stafford, associate professor of medicine at the Stanford Prevention Research Center and senior author of the study.
"This near-doubling of diabetes costs may partly reflect better care, but we need to step back and examine the value of newer and more costly medications that may be overused."
The cost of diabetes treatments rose from 6.7 billion dollars in 2001 to 12.5 billion dollars in 2007.
In 2000, 4.0 percent of the US population had diabetes. By 2050, the percentage is expected to increase to 7.0 percent, the study said.