DEERFIELD, Ill.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A new Walgreens (NYSE: WAG) (NASDAQ: WAG) study shows that a pharmacist-led training and counseling program for patients receiving an injectable diabetes medication improved medication adherence by 24 percent. The study, titled Initial Impact of Medication Adherence of Diabetes Injectable Medication Through Pharmacist-Led Injection Training and Counseling, was presented at the American Diabetes Association’s 72nd Scientific Sessions, June 8-12 in Philadelphia.
The study evaluated Walgreens first nationwide self-injection training program for diabetes patients prescribed to a self injectable diabetes medication. For the study, Walgreens pharmacists trained over 4,500 patients starting the medication for the first time on appropriate injection technique, side effect management and the importance of adherence to therapy. Pharmacists also provided a follow-up assessment at the patients’ next refill. Initial results show that patients who received two counseling sessions with a pharmacist were 24 percent more adherent after 90 days and had an additional eight days of therapy compared to a usual care control group.
“Walgreens has nearly 26,000 pharmacists who are clinically trained and uniquely positioned to help patients with diabetes overcome any concerns and fears around self-injection, which can be obstacles to effectively self-managing their condition,” said Jeff Kang, M.D., Walgreens senior vice president of health and wellness services and solutions. “Diabetes is one of the fastest-growing chronic conditions in the U.S. today, and medication adherence is particularly important for this population as individuals undergo ongoing treatment regimens. By providing better, more personalized care to patients, we’ve demonstrated the ability to improve adherence, which can also reduce costs for the patient, the health care system and in the end help people stay well.”
Dr. Kang continued, “To date, more than 23,000 patients have participated in the diabetes injection training; demonstrating the widespread patient interest in this type of additional care pharmacists can provide.”
With more than 25.8 million children and adults diagnosed in the U.S., diabetes costs the country’s health care system an estimated $174 billion per year.1 Medication non-adherence is a critical cost factor in diabetes spending, as problems with proper medication self-management can also exacerbate the burden of disease.2 While the total cost of medication non-adherence for diabetes patients is unknown, a recent study outlining a scenario where goals of diabetes therapy are successfully achieved shows that medical cost savings could improve by 20 percent, or an estimated $325 billion, in 30 years.3 This underscores the need for pharmacists to support patients in achieving successful disease management.
As the nation's largest drugstore chain with fiscal 2011 sales of $72 billion, Walgreens (www.walgreens.com) vision is to become America’s first choice for health and daily living. Each day, Walgreens provides nearly 6 million customers the most convenient, multichannel access to consumer goods and services and trusted, cost-effective pharmacy, health and wellness services and advice in communities across America. Walgreens scope of pharmacy services includes retail, specialty, infusion, medical facility and mail service, along with respiratory services. These services improve health outcomes and lower costs for payers including employers, managed care organizations, health systems, pharmacy benefit managers and the public sector. The company operates 7,889 drugstores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Take Care Health Systems is a Walgreens subsidiary that is the largest and most comprehensive manager of worksite health and wellness centers and in-store convenient care clinics, with more than 700 locations throughout the country.
1 American Diabetes Association, Diabetes Statistics. Accessed here: http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/diabetes-statistics/?loc=DropDownDB-stats
2 Pyatak, Elizabeth A.; The Role of Occupational Therapy in Diabetes Self-Management Interventions. OTJR: Occupation, Participation and Health; Spring 2011, Volume 31, Issue 2: 89-96.
3 Rizza R, Eddy D, Kahn R. Cure, care, and commitment: what can we look forward to? [published correction appears in Diabetes Care. 2008; 31:1471]. Diabetes Care. 2008;31:1051-1059.