Taking multiple medicines for diabetes each day is not easy
For people living with diabetes, high blood sugar increases risk of major health complications from COVID-19. Also, diabetes often requires taking many different medicines each day. This can be challenging and can lead to patients missing medications or not closely following their medication plan. This is especially difficult for patients from racial or ethnic minorities, such as Latino or Black patients. During COVID, having access to medicine became an added challenge because of shelter in place orders.
Mail order delivery of prescribed medicines can help
Ordering medicines by mail (mail-order prescriptions or MOP) can help people access medication and take it as prescribed. Researchers from California looked at the link between the COVID pandemic shelter-in-place orders and MOP use by race/ethnicity in over 36,000 patients with diabetes. On average, use of MOP tripled (from 8% to 32%) during COVID.
Who is using MOP?
Black, Hispanic, and Hawaiian/Pacific Islander patients were significantly less likely to use MOP compared with White patients. However, in all racial/ethnic groups, this increased compared with White patients during COVID-19. Overall, use of MOP was still less for Black, Hispanic, and Hawaiian/Pacific Islander patients compared to White patients. There are disparities in the use of mail order prescriptions. Use of MOP needs to increase for all groups to help reduce the risk of serious complications associated with diabetes and COVID.