Study finds healthcare team could improve Type 2 diabetics' health

NEW YORK — Adding pharmacists to a primary care team could help diabetics better manage associated risks, according to a new study conducted by researchers from the University of Alberta.

Among 153 hypertensive Type 2 diabetes patients studied, 82 who had advice from a pharmacist were more likely to reach blood pressure treatment targets recommended by the Canadian Diabetes Association.

"Pharmacists can play a more active role in primary care and community clinics," said Scot Simpson, lead author of the study. "We've already been actively collaborating on healthcare teams for years in hospitals."

The study, which was published online in Diabetes Care -- and also will appear in the Jan. 2011 issue of the journal -- follows on other studies and suggestions made by healthcare advocates. For example, the New England Health Institute recently suggested that one way to improve adherence was through a team-based, collaborative approach to long-term patient therapy, since such issues as poor medication adherence costs the United States as much as $290 billion a year, or 13% of overall healthcare expenditures.

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