The Diabetes Crisis: Can We Change the Trends?

Pharmacists are making a real difference in their communities and having a significant impact on the health care team.

Although great strides have been made in managing diabetes, it continues to be a growing national health care crisis. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that more than 29 million individuals—9.3% of the US population—have diagnosed or undiagnosed diabetes. In addition to those who have diabetes, the CDC estimates that 86 million US adults (more than 1 in 3) have prediabetes, which can increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. If the trends continue, as many as 1 in 3 US adults could have diabetes by 2050.

Because it is a chronic condition that affects many facets of a patient’s health, diabetes is an important area of focus. Patients are often on multiple medications that require weekly pharmacist counseling and strict adherence. To help pharmacists on the front lines of diabetes care, we have assembled this Diabetes Issue with articles such as “Childhood Obesity: Following in Dangerous Footsteps” “Blood Glucose Meters: Effective Self-Monitoring,” and “Diabetes: Disease-Modifying Therapies.” In addition, check out our regular coverage of diabetes at our online Type 2 Diabetes Resource Center at type-2-diabetes.

As American Pharmacists Month, October is designated for promoting the pharmacist profession and giving pharmacists the attention they deserve among their peers, patients, and community. Pharmacists are making a real difference in their communities and having a significant impact on the health care team. Let me count the ways:

  • Through medication management, pharmacists help patients with chronic diseases improve their medication adherence and clinical outcomes.
  • Through medication reconciliation, pharmacists help detect and reduce medication discrepancies and help facilitate transition-ofcare programs.
  • Pharmacists provide preventive care through immunization and screening services and by identifying vaccine candidates.
  • Through behavioral counseling, pharmacists improve medication adherence and therapeutic outcomes in patients with chronic conditions.
  • Team-based care that includes pharmacists improves outcomes for patients with chronic conditions, alleviates demand for physician-provided care, and provides access to primary care services.

Pharmacy technicians also make valuable contributions to the practice of pharmacy every day, and pharmacists can help recognize them on Tuesday, October 20—National Pharmacy Technician Day. One way Pharmacy Times recognized technicians this year was to launch an e-newsletter just for them, and their positive response to it has been appreciated.

This month, Pharmacy Times hopes that you will join us in celebrating dedicated pharmacy staff and their positive contributions to the health of our nation. Their work is essential for preventing and treating diseases such as diabetes and setting our nation on a course toward better health.

Thank you for reading!

Mike Hennessy

Chairman and CEO