Pharmacists' impact on improving outcomes in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus

Matthew J Pepper, Natohya Mallory, T Nicole Coker, Amber Chaki, Karen R Sando
Diabetes Educator 2012, 38 (3): 409-16

PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to evaluate a diabetes education program that includes a pharmacist as a member of the diabetes management team by assessing the change in hemoglobin A1c (A1C), cholesterol, and blood pressure for patients with type 2 diabetes in outpatient clinics.

METHODS: This was a retrospective study in outpatient clinics at Shands Jacksonville Medical Center. The patients were assigned into either the pharmacist group or the nonpharmacist group, according to the presence or the absence of a pharmacist in the clinic. The primary end point was the absolute change in A1C versus baseline. Secondary end points included change in cholesterol and blood pressure and the number of patients to attain American Diabetes Association goals. End points were recorded to correlate within 3 months of the initial visit and final visit with a provider.

RESULTS: Compared to the nonpharmacist group, patients in the pharmacist group had more advanced and uncontrolled diabetes at baseline. The pharmacist group showed a greater percent change in A1C and improvement between the initial and final clinic visits, after adjusting for baseline confounders. Despite the statistically significant improvement in A1C in the pharmacist group, there was no difference found between the 2 groups for the end points of cholesterol and blood pressure.

CONCLUSION: Including a pharmacist as a part of the diabetes management team may result in lower A1C in patients with more advanced and uncontrolled type 2 diabetes mellitus versus a health care team without a pharmacist.

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