Program Aims To Use Pharmacists To Boost Care, Lower Costs
A nationwide pilot program at several federally funded community health centers that seeks to "show that more directly involving pharmacists with patients can improve care and lower the cost of treating patients with chronic illnesses," USA Today reports.
At the JWCH Clinic at the Weingart Center in Los Angeles, patients with diabetes who participated in the program during the past two years reduced their blood sugar levels by 3.7 percentage points and decreased their blood pressure to near normal levels. In addition, patients with diabetes who participated in the program at the El Rio Community Health Center in Tucson, Ariz., after six months had lower blood sugar levels than patients who received standard care.
Such results "could help lead to more such efforts, as both government health programs and private insurers look for ways to control some of the most costly diseases," and supporters maintain that prevention of complications from diabetes could save lives and "reduce hospitalization and other medical costs for insurers," according to USA Today.
Jimmy Mitchell, director of the Office of Pharmacy Affairs at the Health Resources and Services Administration, called the program the "future of the practice of pharmacy" (Appleby, USA Today, 9/30).