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The Role of Community Pharmacies in Diabetes Care: Eight Case Studies

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Millions of Americans with diabetes could benefit from the clinical skills of their community pharmacists and the accessibility of their local pharmacies for support in managing diabetes. This report describes eight pharmacy-based diabetes care programs. They are diverse geographically and serve a wide variety of patients--rich and poor, rural and urban, English-speaking and primarily non-English speaking. Although programs of this type are not common, there is increasing interest in matching the professional skills available at community pharmacies with the needs of patients with diabetes and other chronic conditions. An expert panel of clinicians and researchers with broad experience in diabetes care selected the eight case study programs based on criteria related to quality of care and sustainability. While the programs differ in terms of location, patient demographics, and reimbursement strategies, all offer assessment, education, and monitoring services to a significant number of diabetes patients. All use national guidelines from the American Diabetes Association, the American Diabetes Educators Association, or other widely respected organizations. The report includes multiple recommendations for community pharmacists who wish to engage in diabetes care services. Other recommendations include establishment of an information clearinghouse; studies to establish trends in pharmacist provision of diabetes-related care; and outcomes tracking to substantiate program effectiveness.