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US pharmacists urged to follow NHS diabetes model used in UK chemists

American pharmacists are being encouraged to follow in the same path of those doing the same job in the UK who are helping people with diabetes.

An article in The Pharmacy Times has stated that pharmacists account for the third-largest group of healthcare professionals in the US and are only exceeded by doctors and nurses.

Author Jeanette Wick said: “Public health policy makers are waking up to the fact that these highly skilled professionals are often underused. One disease on which pharmacists can make a considerable impact in terms of care is diabetes, which affects 10.5% of the US population.”

The article goes on to report that the NHS has been exploring ways in which community pharmacists can help provide diabetes interventions.

An NHS report looking at a number of studies involving pharmacist-provided diabetes care showed there significantly positive results.

Ms Wick called the NHS “progressive in advancing pharmacy practice” and that if used correctly pharmacists can provide “substantial benefits for patients and cost savings for payers”.

The article features a series of recommendations for US pharmacists such as suggesting they build tools that simplify drug regimen review and create a list of interventions that are doable and important.

In a separate article published on the same website, consulting pharmacist Yvette Terrie, said that those in the community role can “offer guidance on why self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG) is critical”.

She wrote: “Pharmacists can provide education and guidance on SMBG during a fasting state, before a meal, 1 to 2 hours after a meal, and at bedtime.

“However, some patients may need to test at less common times, such as before or after exercise, before snacking, and prior to performing critical tasks.”

Ms Terrie suggested that pharmacists should suggest to people with diabetes that they should choose a blood glucose meter that best suits individual needs, monitor blood glucose levels throughout the day and to consult with their diabetes health team if they have any concerns about their SMBG.

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