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Pharmacist-Patient Interactive Training Reduces Diabetic Health Risks

David W. Hodges
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Partner at Kennedy Hodges LLP practicing pharmacy error, medical malpractice and personal injury law
Posted on Jul 15, 2012

A recent study says that proper medication training for diabetic patients can reduce the chances of injecting the wrong dose of medication.


The study is part of a Walgreens initiative to educate patients who have been newly prescribed injectable medications. The American Diabetes Association presented the study, titled Initial Impact of Medication Adherence of Diabetes Injectable Medication Through Pharmacist-Led Injection Training and Counseling, at its 72nd Scientific Session this month in Philadelphia.


In the first nationwide training program of its kind, Walgreens pharmacists trained over 4,500 diabetic patients who had been prescribed self-injection medications. Pharmacists counseled patients on appropriate injection techniques, management of side effects and the importance of continuing and maintaining treatment. In addition, pharmacists provided a follow-up assessment upon the patients’ first refill. 


The initial results of the training program were encouraging. Patients who attended both of their scheduled counseling sessions were 24 percent more adherent to their medication regimen after 90 days. The counseled patients also had an average of an additional eight days of therapy compared to the care control group, suggesting that patients who do not receive counseling were more likely to overdose the medication.


Over 25.8 million children and adults have been diagnosed with diabetes in the U.S. Medication non-adherence is a major financial factor in the nation’s healthcare, costing the healthcare system an estimated $174 billion per year. The biggest reason for medication non-adherence is a patient’s unwillingness to inject his own medication, or improper injection technique. By providing counseling and education, these pharmacists are encouraging patients to take control of their disease and play an active role in managing its symptoms. 

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