November 24, 2013

Patients 'Overwhelmed' By Diabetes Management

Move over American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE), pharmacies may soon be taking over your jobs. At least one retail pharmacy chain is stepping up to fill the need and others will likely follow. Meijer, which is located in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, and Ohio is partnering with the American Diabetes Association to get the program up and help patients with all types of diabetes.

The need is arising because patients are feeling overwhelmed by diabetes management shortly after diagnosis and are generally unable to get help from their doctors for education to say nothing about certified diabetes educators (CDEs) that are not available to assist them. In the five state survey the mass merchandise retailer conducted, it found that nearly 90% of respondents could not fully identify the complications that can result from poor management of diabetes, like cardiovascular disease and blindness.

Meijer drug store VP Nat Love said. "Nearly 40% of those surveyed told us that, in addition to regular doctor visits, they are more willing to talk with pharmacists and find that walk-in clinical services are convenient for getting extra support in developing their personal care plans for diabetes." This has to mean that like so many patients, they do not like the mandates that CDEs use instead of actual counseling.

The challenges of managing diabetes or being at risk for the disease can sometimes seem overwhelming. There are many places consumers can turn to get answers to their questions, like your local pharmacist. I have found this to be true and my local pharmacist answers many questions in a non-judgmental way, which I truly appreciate. I do not get mandates, but a truly concerned and honest answer to my questions. Granted, there are some days when she asks me to write down my question and she will get back to me another day or email for further discussion. And, my pharmacists are not part of the above chain.

The chain is highlighting its services for diabetes patients, like specially trained diabetes pharmacists, free metformin for patients with prescriptions, assistance with Medicare Part B changes, glucose and health screenings and dietitians who can offer advice on diabetes-friendly foods and recipes.

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