Chain Drug Review
September 28, 2009
Ten City Challenge does job
NEW YORK - Chain drug pharmacists who participated in a long-term program to improve diabetes care helped cut costs by nearly $1,100 per patient per year.
As part of the program - the Diabetes Ten City Challenge -specially trained pharmacists met regularly with patients to provide education and monitor their condition. Pharmacists from such chains as Walgreen Co. and Kerr Drug tracked key diabetes indicators, including hemoglobin A1C, blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
The pharmacist coaches also taught people to manage diabetes by eating right, exercising regularly, visiting their doctors, taking medications as prescribed and keeping current with flu vaccines and foot and eye exams to prevent the costly complications of diabetes.
The 573 participants, who were in the program for an average of 14.8 months, saved an average of $593 per year on their diabetes medications and supplies because employers waived co-pays.
"When people are supported and empowered to make the lifestyle changes necessary to manage a chronic disease, significant improvements are possible," says William Ellis, chief executive of the American Pharmacists Association Foundation, which conducted the program through HealthMapRx, with support from GlaxoSmithKline.