Research backs greater pharmacist role in long-term conditions care

Pharmacists should be more involved in the long-term management of people with type 2 diabetes to improve patient outcomes, researchers say.

Pharmacists: audit suggests pharmacists could improve dose optimisation and patient adherence to therapy (Photograph: SPL)
Pharmacists: audit suggests pharmacists could improve dose optimisation and patient adherence to therapy (Photograph: SPL)

Researchers from the University of East Anglia audited nine practices from which data for 194 patients were collected. The audit identified several ways in which community pharmacists could improve the use of medicines and treatment of co-morbidities in people with type 2 diabetes.

Practices selected to participate in the study had low adherence to NICE guidance for the monitoring of cardiovascular risk assessment and BP in type 2 diabetes patients.

Professor David Wright and his team argue that, because BP monitoring is widely available in community pharmacies, it could help pharmacies boost adherence to NICE guidance.

The researchers suggest that, as community pharmacists see patients on a regular basis, they have the opportunity to establish long-term relationships.

They said: ‘Through regular attendance at the pharmacy to collect their medicines, it may be appropriate for the community pharmacist to become more involved with these patients.’

Pharmacists could also look at the need for additional medicines to be prescribed, and improving dose optimisation and patient adherence to therapy.

However, Professor Wright and his team said that good systems for communicating between pharmacies and practices would be needed before pharmacists were given more responsibility for the long-term management of type 2 diabetes.

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