No-cost Drugs Help Diabetics in Many Ways

Published Online: Saturday, October 1, 2005

Did you say free medication? Researchers at the University of Michigan Health System in Ann Arbor found that angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors are so helpful that providing them free to 8 million patients 65 and over with diabetes would pay big dividends. Reporting in the Annals of Internal Medicine (July 19, 2005), the researchers said that medication free of charge would do the following:

  • Increase the number of individuals using the drugs
  • Prevent more heart attacks, strokes, and kidney failure in those individuals
  • Save the Medicare system millions of dollars by reducing treatment for life-threatening illnesses

The analysis indicated that free medication to seniors with the disease could produce a Medicare cost savings of $1606 over each individual's life. The patients also would live longer, the investigators reported.

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