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    Pharmacist interventions improve diabetes outcomes

    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

    Mark Lowery, Editor
    Mark Lowery an Editor for Drug Topics magazine.

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    • Anonymous
      A breakdown of results from the study: The free A1C testing and pharmacist consultation was offered to 68,000 eligible members--completely free of charge. Only 457 people responded--which is less than 1%! I wonder how many would show up if they had to pay even a small fee for the testing? Out of the 457 respondents, only 82 made it to a follow-up appointment, less than 20%. Of these 82, less than half showed a clinically significant A1C reduction--so only 8% of the 457 people who showed up initially demonstrated any significant improvement. This is not that impressive, especially considering the service was being offered for free. The study makes a statement that is completely false and misleading: "The proportion of patients that met target A1C increased from 9% (7/82) at their first appointment to 26% (21/82) at their follow-up appointment. In other words, the number of patients that reached A1C target tripled after only a 30-minute consultation with a Shoppers Drug Mart pharmacist (Figure 1)." Notice how the authors attempt to take credit for the improvement in A1C--completely overlooking the fact that the improvement most likely came from the patient making an appointment with their physician and receiving medication or changes in medication. The benefit did not come from the 30-minute pharmacist consultation--the benefit came from sending the patient to go see their doctor for therapy changes. So to summarize --what this study and most others like it actually show are the need for greater testing and screening of the public--followed simply by a referral to the doctor for those who need it. The real value here was the free a1C test, not the pharmacist consultation.