Diabetes Patients Benefit From Pharmacist Intervention

Diabetes has a tremendous global impact, but developing nations often struggle to help patients deal with their disease.

Diabetes has a tremendous global impact, but developing nations often struggle to help patients deal with their disease.

Proper drug selection—that is, selecting the drug most likely to improve control and least likely to cause interactions or adherence problems—could change patients’ futures and health care systems’ costs.

A team of pharmacists recently assessed the impact of clinical pharmacist interventions in drug therapy in hospitalized patients with diabetes.

The prospective interventional study took place at a tertiary care teaching hospital over 10 months.

These pharmacists used inpatient case records and attended ward rounds while reviewing drug therapy to identify drug-related problems and discuss potential medication modifications with physicians. They documented all interventions and discussion.

Among 151 patient case records, pharmacists found 189 drug therapy problems. Furthermore, most drug-related problems were graded as moderately significant.

Men tended to have more drug-related problems than women did. This finding was inconsistent with many, but not all, similar studies.

Drug-related problems were considered common in patients aged 61 to 70 years, suggesting that these problems may increase as patients grow older.

The most common drug-related problem was drug use without indication (18%).

Improper drug selection was the second most common problem, with more than 16% of patients affected.

Clinical pharmacists recommended deprescribing specific drugs most often, with 30% of interventions falling into this category.

Physicians were receptive to drug therapy recommendations from pharmacists, implementing about 60% of them.

The researchers concluded that at their facility, including clinical pharmacists on the health care team during ward rounds helped identify and prevent drug-related problems in hospitalized patients with diabetes.

They anticipated that greater pharmacist involvement will decrease costs, improve patient outcomes, and increase overall safety.

This article appeared in Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome: Clinical Research and Reviews.