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Optimizing Treatment Strategies for Diabetes - Episode 12

Pharmacists are a Resource for Patients

Drs Meece and Goldman share final thoughts on the overall current and future treatment landscape for diabetes.

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Jerry Meece, RPh, CDCES, FACA, FADCES: There are tools out there. What tools can pharmacists use to better educate patients in this short time? What resources do they have? What have you found in your practice to be useful for pharmacists? What’s available to them?

Jennifer D. Goldman, RPh, PharmD, CDCES, BC-ADM, FCCP: There are a lot of free resources we can go to, including Google. The American Diabetes Association has lots of free resources, along with other educational areas and different companies that make products that patients are using. If they have a certain insulin, there are directions on there and patient resources. We can go online and get that for them. Some pharmacists may have access to various people in the world in these different companies that can bring demo pens and needles and little dummies that show where to inject. Show them and make sure they know where to get that information so we can provide it, but also show them what websites to visit to look at this information. Make sure they have something at home so they know where to call or where to look if they get stuck.

Jerry Meece, RPh, CDCES, FACA, FADCES: Have something available to them. I’ve already told you this, but this reinforces it. If I’m looking around my offices, there are 15 things that we have, including props, food props, the little [dummy] that you inject, and demo insulin pens. You hold your pen, I’m going to hold my pen, and let’s walk through this together. These are all available. All you need to say to a manufacturer is “I’m doing a lot of diabetes education now. I need resources.” They’re going to come in over the gunwales more than you would even imagine. Make sure you take advantage of those resources.

To finalize all this, what do you think the overall role of the pharmacist, practitioner, and educator is in relation to people with type 2 diabetes? Is it where it needs to be? How can pharmacists be more effective in counseling patients with diabetes?

Jennifer D. Goldman, RPh, PharmD, CDCES, BC-ADM, FCCP: Depending on where you are in the country and where the collaborative practice is available, that’s definitely a route for pharmacists to take. But regardless of that, individualized patient care [is important]. As pharmacists, we need to make sure we keep up-to-date, and that we’re increasing our skills and education, especially with technology. There are continuous glucose monitors. You brought up the connected pens. There are Bluetooth-enabled glucometers. [We need to] make sure we’re keeping up with technology and new drug therapies.

The ADA [American Diabetes Association] guidelines have been updated in real time since 2018. If new drugs or impactful new studies with evidence come out, they will be updated every 3 or 4 months in the ADA guidelines. Make sure we understand time in range and make inroads with telehealth and telemedicine. We need to be experts in medication therapy, which can include technology and making the most of the 5 minutes that you see that patient.

Jerry Meece, RPh, CDCES, FACA, FADCES: I agree. That’s great information, Jennifer. If there’s any advice I could give, it’s that if you run out of anything to ask a patient with diabetes, set them aside and ask, “What’s the hardest thing you have to do in dealing with your diabetes? What drives you crazy in working with your diabetes?” And listen. Then you have the segue to go into anything that they have that we can now address as pharmacist diabetes educators.

With that, I’d like to thank Dr Goldman for a great discussion. I’d like to thank Drug Topics®for making the filming of this webcast possible. I’d like to thank our viewers for the privilege of their time, and I want to wish everybody a great rest of your day. Thank you, all.

Transcript edited for clarity.

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