In the News: Pharmacies Poised to Take on Diabetes Care

Monday, February 11, 2019

With an increasing number of diabetes patients needing care, and not enough healthcare professionals to adequately manage their chronic conditions, community pharmacists may be uniquely positioned to help fill these needs.

In the recent Drug Store News article “Being the ‘go-to’ pharmacy for diabetes care,” a pharmacy clinical services expert examines the potential of pharmacists to support patient self-management of diabetes through counseling and education. Community pharmacies also have the additional benefit of being fully stocked with a wide variety of diabetes care supplies, so patients can pick up exactly what they need after their consult, instead of having to make an additional trip to obtain prescribed and recommended supplies.

The article notes that diabetes patients are likely to spend more money over time in a pharmacy than patients with nearly any other chronic disease. Estimates say a person with diabetes spends around $10,000 every 3-4 years on prescriptions, OTC items, and additional supplies to help manage their disease. Thus, becoming the “go-to” provider is financially beneficial for the pharmacy as well as valuable for the patient, increasing pharmacists' incentive to cultivate clinical care services.

Many community pharmacies aren’t equipped to dive right into the diabetes disease management business without making some adjustments. The article suggests several steps:

  • Training in “motivational interviewing” techniques
  • Allowing clinical pharmacists to move away from traditional retail duties to focus on patient interaction
  • Appointing a “chief diabetes technician” to handle testing, equipment, and demos

To learn more, read the complete article.

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