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Partnering with patients to manage diabetes and other chronic diseases

BY Jonathan G. Marquess

The life of a patient with diabetes is a juggling act to maintain good glycemic control — from daily blood-glucose testing to eating healthy and staying active. This is a complex and sometimes inconvenient task requiring significant commitment. Today, the American Diabetes Association estimates 60 percent of diabetes patients do not adhere to their treatment regimen.

Because patients with diabetes spend only an average of six hours a year with their doctors, they need more help than ever to navigate therapy choices and maintain a healthy lifestyle. As community pharmacists, we’re often the front line of patient care, having frequent conversations to help patients stay adherent to their medications and successfully manage diabetes and other chronic diseases, including COPD, high cholesterol and hypertension.

As a Certified Diabetes Educator and a member of McKesson’s network of pharmacists trained in behavioral coaching, I work closely with patients every day. Here are a few recent examples of how I’ve coached patients on the proper use of medications and lifestyle requirements to manage their diabetes:

• As I was filling a patient’s prescription recently, I noticed he was a week late in picking up his refill. When I asked why, he told me that he needed to make it last longer to keep his monthly costs down.   Working together, we were able to identify a co-pay offset program and get him enrolled right away so he can take each dose as directed.
• One of my longtime patients was having difficulty with her insulin injections with the traditional vial and syringe, so I introduced her to a new insulin pen as an alternative. Not only does it allow her to set the right dose, she has found the injection process much easier and nearly painless.
• A newly diagnosed patient came in feeling overwhelmed and unsure of how to start controlling her diabetes. Through a series of coaching sessions, we’ve developed a long-term plan to manage her condition and know what to expect when taking her medications. Additionally, I introduced her to the Diabetes Life Center we maintain at Woodstock Health Mart Pharmacy, featuring a variety of over-the-counter health and lifestyle products she’ll need to be successful. 

Like many community pharmacists, I believe supporting our patients, starts — not ends — with the prescription. I encourage you to position yourself to patients living with a chronic disease as a partner dedicated to help them successfully manage their condition AND maintain a healthy lifestyle. 


Jonathan G. Marquess, PharmD, CDE, is a pharmacist and owner of Woodstock Health Mart Pharmacy in Georgia.  Follow Jonathan on Twitter @SugarDetective1. To find other Health Mart pharmacies that offer this type of support, visit www.healthmart.com

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Bayer Advanced Aspirin, CC Sabathia kick off Fast Relief Challenge

BY Allison Cerra

MORRISTOWN, N.J. — Bayer Advanced Aspirin has tapped New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia for a consumer challenge and sweepstakes, which are designed to benefit the American Red Cross.

The aspirin brand and Sabathia have kicked off the Fast Relief Challenge, which asks consumers to try Bayer Advanced Aspirin for pain relief and provide feedback on how it worked for them. Once consumers have taken the Fast Relief Challenge, they can rate their satisfaction and how fast it worked for them at FastReliefChallenge.com. For every consumer rating received, Bayer will donate $1 to the American Red Cross, up to a total of $50,000.

In addition to the challenge, consumers ages 18 years and older can enter the Fast Relief Challenge sweepstakes for the chance to receive six tickets to attend a Major League Baseball season game of the winner’s choice, a $50,000 donation to a local Red Cross chapter on his or her behalf and a year’s supply of Bayer Advanced Aspirin.

"As a pitcher, I know fast relief plays an important role in baseball, but it is just as important for disaster relief efforts and pain relief. That’s why I’m working with the makers of Bayer Advanced Aspirin, the ‘official pain reliever of Major League Baseball,’ to raise donations for the American Red Cross," Sabathia said. "Helping others has always been really important to me, especially when I know even the smallest actions can help families in need. A quick click on a website is all it takes to help the American Red Cross provide fast relief to communities who need it most."


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Report: SodaStream heading to U.S. grocery, drug stores by 2014

BY Allison Cerra

ATLANTA — SodaStream is expanding its reach to new channels, according to published reports.

According to a Bloomberg report, the company — which recently launched flavors sweetened with stevia and also formed a strategic partnership with Kraft Foods — SodaStream CEO Daniel Birnbaum noted the company plans to bring its do-it-yourself soda machines to U.S. drug stores and supermarkets in 2014.

Click here for the full report.

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