Pharmacist interventions improve diabetes outcomes

March 25, 2015

Interventions between Canadian pharmacists and patients who returned for follow-up improved diabetes outcomes significantly, according to a recently released study.

Interventions between Canadian pharmacists and patients who returned for follow-up improved diabetes outcomes significantly, according to a recently released study.

Shoppers Drug Mart and Great-West Life insurance sponsored the study, The Sustainable Solutions Report: Pharmacist Interventions in Diabetes.

A1C results

More than 450 patients met with a pharmacist and received an A1C test, lifestyle counseling, medication recommendations, and, when appropriate, physician referrals. Only 37% (169 patients) were at their target A1C goal.

Three months later, approximately 18% (82 patients) returned for the follow-up appointment. In this cohort, 9% (7/82) were at the target AIC goal initially. At the follow-up appointment with the pharmacist, 26% (21/82) had achieved the optimal A1C target.

“The number of patients that reached A1C target tripled after only a 30-minute consultation with a Shoppers Drug Mart pharmacist,” the report stated. “Almost half of those who participated in the follow-up consultation (45%) had a clinically significant reduction (i.e., a reduction of 0.5% or more) in their A1C levels, and of those the average reduction achieved was 1.5%.”

See Also: Project IMPACT: Diabetes shows value of pharmacist patient care services


 

"The Canadian Diabetes Association is pleased to see innovative models of community-based diabetes care such as this pharmacist intervention being developed and implemented. Effective self-management of diabetes is critical to the prevention of the downstream complications of diabetes such as blindness, amputation, and kidney failure,” said Jan Hux, chief science officer, Canadian Diabetes Association. “Pharmacists with enhanced diabetes training provide a skilled and accessible resource to help people with diabetes achieve their health goals."

Physician collaboration

In the cases where pharmacists consulted with the patients’ physician, the number of patients that reached their A1C goals increased fourfold. "Diabetes management is just one more part of healthcare where pharmacists can make a significant difference. By working together, we can develop sustainable solutions that will have positive impacts on the health of Canadians, all while improving the value delivered by our healthcare system,"
said Mike Motz, president, Shoppers Drug Mart.

The study recommends expanding collaborative opportunities for pharmacists, increasing the scope of practice to allow pharmacists to conduct A1C tests, and enabling pharmacists to structure and support self-management plans for patients.

The study further suggests allowing Canadian pharmacists to modify prescriptions, and facilitating more opportunities for pharmacist-physician communication and collaboration.