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EDOR clinical experts comment on study showing Māori diabetes patients are missing out on prescriptions

EDOR Professors Jim Mann and Jeremy Krebs have commented on a recent study from the University of Waikato, which shows that Māori patients receive fewer prescriptions for the common diabetes medication metformin than non-Māori patients.

Metformin is one of the most widely used tablet treatments for diabetes in New Zealand and worldwide. Professor Jim Mann has worked clinically with diabetes patients for over 30 years and is concerned about this finding, given that type 2 diabetes rates are high among Māori and that there are also ethnic disparities in terms of diabetes-related health outcomes:

"It is therefore of considerable concern to discover that there appears to be a reduction in metformin coverage in Māori compared with New Zealand Europeans", says Professor Mann.

Professor Jeremy Krebs, Endocrinologist and Clinical Leader of Endocrinology and Diabetes at Capital and Coast District Health Board, says the study also shows that when prescribed metformin, Māori are equally likely to collect the prescriptions, and are equally likely to get the benefit of that on glycaemic control.

“Having identified this, it raises the question of why they are not receiving prescriptions in the first place", says Professor Krebs.

Professor Mann says it is clearly important for these findings to be followed up in order to determine the reasons for reduced coverage of this important drug amongst Māori.

Read the study

Metformin adherence in patients with type 2 diabetes and its association with glycated haemoglobin levels, Chepulis Lynne, Mayo Christopher, Morison Brittany, Keenan Rawiri, Lao Chunhuan, Paul Ryan, Lawrenson Ross. Journal of Primary Health Care, 2020. https://doi.org/10.1071/HC20043

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