The longer progression to Type 2 Diabetes can be delayed, even if using oral hypoglycemics, the more cost-effective it is. Most physicians wait until someone’s HgBA1C exceeds 6.5, but this is a mistake.
The following is a cost analysis of early intervention with metformin, compared to delaying treatment until insulin supplementation is required due to B-cell fatigue, assuming similar lifestyle management:
The average wholesale cost of generic metformin is less than $0.05/1,000 mg tablet, so a 30-day supply is $6.00 a month.
The average wholesale insulin cost, when a combination of both long-acting and short-acting insulin is prescribed:
Long-acting insulin: Lantus $431/month
Short-acting insulin: Humalog $533/month
Combined cost: $964/month excluding injection supplies.
One could pay for 160 months of metformin therapy for the same cost as 1 month of insulin therapy.