Wesley Research Institute study targets pharmacists to help diabetes sufferers

July 05, 2007

A new Wesley Research Institute project aims to make it much easier for people to manager their Type 2 Diabetes by using community pharmacists.

There are more than one million Australians with Type 2 Diabetes who are at an increased risk of developing serious health problems including heart disease, stroke, kidney disease and blindness.

Chief investigator of the project, Mr David Brand of The Wesley Pharmacy, said this study had the potential to benefit sufferers by enabling them to better understand and manage their own blood glucose levels, thus helping to prevent long-term health problems.

"With around 600 new cases of diabetes diagnosed every week in Australia, it is imperative that we continue to look for better, more user friendly ways of managing this condition," he said.

"A major problem in Type 2 Diabetes management is the lack of understanding of how lifestyle influences day to day variations in blood glucose levels. If the particular cause of the unhealthy level is better understood, it may be corrected through lifestyle changes."

Funded by the MBF Foundation, the project is providing participants with education and advice about the control of their blood glucose levels based on individual glucose meter uploads during the day. The study will then determine whether lifestyle advice from pharmacists has a positive impact on participants' glycaemic control.

"Educating pharmacists to help people manage their diabetes may be one way to reduce the burden of Type 2 Diabetes on our health care system," Mr Brand said.

Type 2 Diabetes sufferer Ms Deborah Lennon said that being able to access advice from pharmacists would be extremely beneficial in the management of her diabetes.

"It is quite difficult and expensive to get an appointment to see my GP so to be able to access a pharmacist for advice and information would be absolutely brilliant," she said.

"I have had Type 2 Diabetes for five years now and as I get older I know the risks of harmful outcomes from the disease increase. I believe that having my local pharmacist help monitor my blood glucose levels would enable me to take greater control of my condition and improve my overall health."

It is hoped that the year long study will lead to new Australia-wide treatment standards for Type 2 Diabetes where patients and pharmacists work together to manage the disease.
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The Wesley Research Institute is a leading medical research facility with a commitment to patient care, ethical conduct and quality research that aims to improve quality of life through better diagnosis and treatment.

Research Australia

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