Pharmacies play an important role in the care of people diagnosed with diabetes, as well as those at risk of developing the disease.
In fact in recent years, the role of pharmacists in the multidisciplinary approach to diabetes care has expanded in countries throughout the world.
Pharmacists and their staff see people with diabetes much more frequently than other healthcare professionals and this means they can:
- Identify individuals at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes, offering them lifestyle advice and appropriate intervention to reduce their risk.
- Identify people with undiagnosed diabetes and refer them to GPs and other healthcare professionals for a diabetes test.
- Answer questions about diabetes and related health conditions.
- Offer guidance on the proper use of medications and other supplies used to treat diabetes.
- Reduce the risk of complications through early detection of diabetes and by contributing to the management of the risk factors for complications.
What diabetes care products do pharmacies offer?
Most pharmacies on the high street, including Boots, Lloyds Pharmacy chemists, offer a wide range of products to help people with diabetes manage their condition and prevent complications.
These typically include:
- Blood glucose monitoring systems – blood glucose meters, test strips and lancets
- Foot care products – foot care accessories, foot creams and heal balms
- Skin care products – moisturisers and itch relief creams
- Diet and weight loss products – Slimming aids, nutritional supplements and vitamins
- Glucose tablets and treatments
- Dental health products – toothpaste, toothbrushes and mouthwash
Some pharmacies also provide a diabetes screening service, working together with local professional health carers and diabetes associations to encourage people to have their diabetes risk assessed.