To describe dispensation patterns of glucose-lowering drugs in newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes in Germany.
Based on claims data from four statutory health insurances (German Pharmacoepidemiological Research Database,>25 million insurants), all individuals with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes were identified. Eligible patients had a first diagnosis for type 2 diabetes between January 2012 and December 2016. We analyzed the dispensation patterns of first-line glucose-lowering therapies initiated in the year after diabetes diagnosis and patterns of second-line therapies dispensed one year after first-line treatment.
A total of 356,647 individuals with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes were included (average age [SD]: 63.5 [13.4] years; 49.3% males). Of the 31.6% of individuals who were pharmacologically treated in the year after diagnosis, metformin monotherapy was most frequently dispensed (73.1%), followed by dual therapy of metformin and dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors (DPP-4is) (6.4%), and monotherapy with DPP-4is (2.9%). From 2012 through 2016, sulfonylurea dispensations were reduced by more than 50%. Dispensations for combination therapies with DPP-4is increased up to 10.6%. Glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists and sodium-glucose co-transporter-2 inhibitors contributed to 2% of all treatments. After a median of 5 months, 20.0% of individuals on pharmacological therapy initiated second-line glucose-lowering treatment.
Data from German statutory health insurances (2012 to 2016) showed that most individuals with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes were dispensed metformin monotherapy in line with diabetes care guidelines. A substantial decrease in the use of sulfonylureas was observed after the introduction of DPP-4i and GLP-1 receptor agonists.

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