As a Diabetes Specialist I see many patients who have come from all over India or even Bangladesh to whom cost of treatment for Diabetes is a major concern.

Many patients stop taking medicines because of rising medicine bill. One can’t blame them, as the latest medicines ( the DPP4 inhibitors or the SGLT inhibitors ) can be prohibitively expensive -each costing around 40 – 50 Rs per day.

The good news is that these medicines are not the first choice, and the older medicines with proven track records are still the most commonly used medicines worldwide. There is no reason why most of our patients should not be on an optimal dose of these medicines before moving on to newer expensive medicines, especially if cost of therapy is an issue.

Metformin is the cheapest, safest and most tolerated diabetes medicine used in the world. It is the first line of medicine used worldwide for these reasons.

I would urge all the doctors practising Diabetology to try and prescribe at least 2000mg of Metformin daily ( unless there is issue of contraindication,  intolerance or organ failure) before adding these newer expensive medicines. HbA1c reduction by the newer medicines is no better than Metformin so they are no more effective than Metformin usd appropriately

Everybody has the right to the correct treatment for diabetes, and we should help the patients as much as possible. Cost of Treatment should be borne in mind while prescribing medicines in India.

Stay healthy and Beat Diabetes.