Trends in drug prescriptions to diabetic patients from 2000 to 2008 in Italy's Lombardy Region: A large population-based study

Marta Baviera, Lara Monesi, Irene Marzona, Fausto Avanzini, Gabriella Monesi, Alessandro Nobili, Mauro Tettamanti, Emma Riva, Laura Cortesi, Angela Bortolotti, Ida Fortino, Luca Merlino, Giancarlo Fontana, Maria Carla Roncaglioni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To analyze the prescribing patterns of antidiabetic and cardiovascular medications among diabetics in the most highly populated Italian Region, from 2000 to 2008. Methods: Data were obtained from the Lombardy Region administrative health databases. The standardized prevalence of antidiabetic and cardiovascular drugs use was calculated within each study year. The prescription trends of initial treatment with antidiabetic drugs were also analyzed. Results: From 2000 to 2008 there was an increase in the proportion of patients treated with biguanides (from 53.4% to 66.5%; p<0.0001) while those receiving sulfonylurea decreased (from 78.6% to 56.4%; p<0.0001). A sharp increase of metformin (as monotherapy) as initial treatment was also observed (from 15.2% to 48.8%; p<0.0001). The percentage of patients receiving renin-angiotensin system inhibitors, lipid-lowering drugs and antiplatelets increased between 2000 and 2008, from respectively 45.1% to 63.3%, 13.6% to 43.2% and 21.6% to 40.9 (p<0.0001). Multivariate analyses indicated that changes in prescriptions were statistically significant for both antidiabetic and cardiovascular drugs. Conclusion: This study documents progressive changes in the prescription of antidiabetic and cardiovascular drugs in accordance with guidelines. However, the use of metformin as first line therapy was still suboptimal and cardiovascular preventive strategies were only partially implemented in community practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-130
Number of pages8
JournalDiabetes Research and Clinical Practice
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011


  • Antidiabetic drugs
  • Cardiovascular medications
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Prescribing trends

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology


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