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Community pharmacies key to tackling type 2 diabetes

A new report has highlighted the important role community pharmacies in the UK can have in helping to identify people at risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Published online in the International Journal of Pharmacy Practice, the report states that community pharmacies have the potential to help combat the country’s diabetes epidemic by assisting the NHS in detecting individuals at high risk of type 2 diabetes or early-stage cases of the disease where treatments can be easier and more effective.
The report is based on research conducted by the University of East Anglia which examined the outcomes of patients accessing the Diabetes UK Type 2 risk assessment in Boots UK pharmacies. During the first nine months of the in-store health initiative, which launched in January 2013, more than 21,000 risk assessments were carried out in 1,513 Boots UK chemists nationwide.
Peter Bainbridge, director of pharmacy for Boots UK, said data pooled from over 3,500 of these assessments showed the risk tests “play an important role in supporting early detectio, so patients can take steps to prevent or take control of the condition sooner.”
“As the prevention and management of long term conditions such as diabetes continues to dominate the public health agenda, this research demonstrates the overall value community pharmacy can offer, providing convenient access to healthcare support and reducing the strain on the NHS,” he added.
Simon O’Neill, Director of Health Intelligence at Diabetes UK, commented: “It is great that risk assessments for type 2 diabetes are now available on the high street. It is really important that people get a risk assessment so that if they are at high risk they can start getting the help they need to reduce their risk, while if they have undiagnosed type 2 they can start getting the support that can help get it under control.
“I would urge people to have their risk assessed if they are overweight, over 40, or over 25 if they are from a South Asian background, or have a close relative with diabetes.”

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