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Pharmacists improve diabetes medication adherence

Clinical news

Pharmacists improve diabetes medication adherence

Results from a patient support programme developed by Celesio UK and manufacturer MSD have shown that pharmacist interventions can improve adherence to diabetes medication by up to 61%. 

The aim of the programme was to improve patients’ knowledge of how and when to take their medication, explain why the medication is beneficial and dispel any myths, address any of their concerns and to improve overall adherence and persistence to their prescribed regime as intended by their GP.

Laura Southall, service design manager for medicines adherence and patient support Celesio, said: “Our patient support programme has proven how effective a tailored and personalised pharmacist-led intervention can be in addressing reasons for non-adherence and driving positive outcomes.  This has wide-reaching implications for patients, their families and the NHS, providing further support for the enhanced role of pharmacists in supporting and advising patients with their medicines.”

Samuel Pygall pharmacy strategy lead for MSD, said:  “MSD is committed to developing patient services, solutions and resources to support pharmacists in their critical role of managing diabetes in primary care. Pharmacists are in an excellent position within the patient journey to make impactful interventions. We are delighted to partner with Celesio on this initiative and hope that it is the beginning of collaboration that provides tailored projects that can really deliver change to healthcare provision in the community”.

Poor adherence in diabetes has a strong association with an increased risk of mortality and medical complications (such as severe cardiovascular disease) as well as poor quality of life.   

“We wanted to provide targeted support that was tailored to the individual needs of patients and we therefore segmented them according to their risk of non-adherence (High, Medium and Low) as well as their type of non-adherence (intentional versus unintentional),” explained Southall.

Support was delivered to patients who had given their explicit consent and who had been assessed for suitability against the inclusion criteria.  The LloydsPharmacy pharmacist-led Clinical Contact Centre contacted patients through telephone and SMS text messages over a six month period. The Contact Centre team were trained in behavioural change including motivational interviewing and helped to empower patients to take control of their disease and get the most out of their medication.


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