Within an economic framework it is possible to evaluate the direct cost of diabetes. In 1984, for 109 diabetics - 27 insulin-dependent patients (IDD) and 82 non-insulin-dependent patients (NIDD) - of the Paris area, the average cost of diabetes was 7711 francs (Fr) for the IDD and 5892 Fr for the NIDD. This cost is the sum of the medical visits, drugs and hospitalization. The medical expenditures of the NIDD is roughly the same as for the general population (6462 Fr). For the IDD, the main difference concerns the drug expenditures. Moreover, in 1984, there is more home-care than in 1978. Lastly, there is little difference between prescription use in the U.S. and in France. Such results allow us to discuss the reimbursement of the care needed for diabetics.