Diabetes in the News: PQA Speakers Focus on Prevention, Gaps in Care

There is a role for pharmacists and pharmacy quality measures in addressing the public health challenge of diabetes, according to speakers at a recent virtual meeting this week.

Several speakers at the Pharmacy Quality Alliance (PQA) 2021 Online Annual Meeting discussed the public health challenge of diabetes and the role that pharmacies and pharmacy quality measures can play.

Diabetes prevention programs (DPP) can assist individuals in making lasting behavioral changes in order to halt a slide to type 2 diabetes (T2D), a report from Pharmacy Times noted. Panelists from Tabula Rasa HealthCare spoke about their DPP, which involves on-demand digital, telehealth, and a participant portal; the goal is to nudge participants to lose 5% to 7% of body weight through weekly and monthly sessions with a lifestyle coach.

Focusing on preventing costly diseases in the first place will help lower the overall cost of care, they note.

Read the full story on Pharmacy Times.

Also at PQA, a Walgreens executive discussed how the pharmacy chain is attempting to address social determinants of health on the South Side of Chicago with interventions aimed at addressing gaps in care in diabetes.

A diabetes outreach program uses predictive analytics and selects patients based on their adherence patterns, according to Michael Taitel, PhD, senior director of health analytics, research, and reporting at Walgreens.

According to the Pharmacy Times report, the program has addressed disparities in diabetes care, leading to significant improvements in adherence, statin use, and flu vaccinations among patients with diabetes.

In the 16 stores that implemented interventions, there was a 2.1% improvement in the percent of diabetes prescriptions being refilled within 2 weeks of their due date, compared to no improvement in stores that did not implement the program. Similarly, the test stores saw a 3.4% improvement in the percent of statin prescriptions refilled within 2 weeks of their due date, and a 25.0% improvement in the number of flu vaccinations administered at the pharmacy.

Read the full story on Pharmacy Times.

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