Community Pharmacists: Valuable Team Members in the Fight with Diabetes

Article

Through clinical and humanistic interventions, pharmacists can improve outcomes and lower costs for patients with diabetes.

By 2030, diabetes-related annual costs will reach $622.3 billion. Through clinical and humanistic interventions, pharmacists can improve outcomes and lower costs for patients with diabetes.

Researchers have published a meta-analysis of 6 randomized controlled trials that enrolled 640 patients and evaluated interventions of community pharmacists for patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes in the Annals of Pharmacotherapy. Data collection occurred between 2000 and 2016 to ensure that data reflected recent practices in community pharmacies.

The researchers sought to determine the impact of community pharmacists' interventions for patients with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. They also looked for effective components of pharmacist-led interventions and descriptions of pharmacists' training to deliver those interventions.

Pharmaceutical care by community pharmacists lowered A1C values in the intervention group compared to the control group by -0.66. Setting individual goals and communication with physicians were the most effective components of pharmacist-led interventions. Additional effective components included assessing current health status, patients' health beliefs, and current medication knowledge.

The small number of studies provided insufficient information on the effect of different training designs and content for pharmacists, so the researchers did not perform statistical analysis. Improvement in glycemic control helps patients avoid diabetes-related complications with dire consequences. The researchers emphasized that community pharmacists are vital health care team members for patients with diabetes because their interventions can improve A1C levels.

Community pharmacists should provide patient-centered, interdisciplinary pharmaceutical care whenever possible. Further research will be able provide more knowledge on the precise effect of different training settings, components, and methods on the effectiveness of pharmaceutical care interventions.

Check out Pharmacy Times' Peer Exchange series on improving collaborative care in diabetes.

Blerina Mukallari, 2018 PharmD Candidate, the University of Connecticut

Reference

Deters MA, Laven A, Castejon A, et al. Effective interventions for diabetes patients by community pharmacists: a meta-analysis of pharmaceutical care components. Ann Pharmacother. 2018 Feb;52(2):198-211. doi: 10.1177/1060028017733272. Epub 2017 Sep 26. PubMed PMID: 28948839.

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