Patient Injection Adherence Improves Under Pharmacist Guidance

A Walgreens study during which pharmacists counseled patients about taking injectable diabetes medications improved the patients’ adherence by 24 percent.

Walgreens presented the study, “Initial Impact of Medication Adherence of Diabetes Injectable Medication Through Pharmacist-Led Injection Training and Counseling,” at the American Diabetes Association’s 72nd Scientific Sessions, June 8 through 12, in Philadelphia.

The study examined results from the drugstore chain’s first nationwide self-injection training program for people with diabetes. Walgreens pharmacists counseled an initial group of 4,500 patients, all of whom were new to self-injection, on appropriate injection technique, managing side effects, and adhering to their injection therapy and schedule. The pharmacists also provided follow-up assessments at the patients’ next medication refill.

Patients who received two counseling sessions with a pharmacist were 24 percent more adherent after 90 days on injectable medications.
Walgreens reported that to date, more than 23,000 patients have participated in the diabetes injection training program.

The program’s results bolsters the trend toward pharmacists becoming increasingly involved in patient training and healthcare services with which they have not traditionally been associated.

Neither Walgreens nor diabetes experts can name the exact cost of medication nonadherence by diabetes patients. However, the drug chain cited a study that claimed that if all diabetes patients achieved their therapeutic goals, the economy would save an estimated $325 billion over a 30-year period.

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