In the Journals

Pharmacist intervention improves diabetes control of underserved patients

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May 27, 2015

Underserved patients with suboptimally controlled type 2 diabetes exhibited greater medication adherence and better glycemic control with pharmacist-directed medication management than with usual care, according to recent study findings published in The Diabetes Educator.

“Findings from this study may inform the development of metrics to more systematically assess the effects of pharmacist-directed [medication therapy management] on health outcomes,” the researchers wrote.

Consuelo H. Wilkins, MD, MSCI, of Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and colleagues conducted a retrospective review of 100 patient records to determine the effect of pharmacist-directed medication therapy management.

Consuelo Wilkins

Consuelo H. Wilkins

Participants were divided into either the medication therapy management group (n = 50), which included a pharmacist referral and recorded clinical data from at least three clinic visits during a 12-month period, or the control group (n = 50), which received no contact with a clinical pharmacist.

Before being match for age, sex, race, ethnicity and BMI, the management group revealed more medication adherence (64.6%) compared with the control group (10%; P < .001). Similarly, the management group had lower HbA1c levels (P < .0001) and LDL levels (P = .02) compared with the control group.

After matching, the management group (n = 29) continued to have higher rates of medication adherence (62%) compared with the control group (n = 29; 7%; P < .001). They also continued to have lower HbA1c levels (P < .001). However, no significant differences were found for any other clinical outcomes.

“The results of this study show that a pharmacist-directed [mediation therapy management program] is positively associated with medication adherence and disease outcomes in patients with suboptimally controlled [type 2 diabetes],” the researchers wrote. “These findings in a community health clinic population have broad implications for improving health care delivery and health outcomes in community-based settings. Underserved populations are vulnerable to [type 2 diabetes] and other chronic conditions; furthermore, their limited access to recommended health care likely makes this segment of the population the most in need of supportive chronic disease management services.” - by Amber Cox

Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.