Pharmacists key in diabetes strategy campaign

woman with diabetes injects insulin into abdomen

Pharmacists have a “really important” role in raising awareness about the impact of diabetes and the urgent need to develop and implement the National Diabetes Strategy, says ADEA CEO Dr Joanne Ramadge.

Today the ADEA and the ADS are calling on the government to develop an implementation plan and put the National Diabetes Strategy into action.

This, they say, would improve the health outcomes of the estimated 1.7m Australians living with the disease.

“It is now time to turn the strategy into action,” they say in a joint statement released today.

According to Dr Ramadge, pharmacy is well positioned to improve the awareness and health outcomes of people with diabetes, given the new arrangements it has with NDSS in the supply of diabetes products and services.

“There really is a huge opportunity for pharmacy to make people much more aware about the impact of diabetes in the community by offering well-rounded, evidenced-based information and resources,” says Ramadge,

“There are a number of pharmacists who are already credentialed diabetes educators and we think they are crucial in giving patients and their carers advice and support.”

She says people with diabetes and their families really value the assistance they can receive from pharmacy when they are picking up their medications—whether or not they have been diagnosed with diabetes—or talking about issues that may be of concern.

“They trust their pharmacists who can give them lifestyle, nutritional and exercise advice and how to make appropriate lifestyle changes if they have, or at risk of having type 2 diabetes.”

Ramadge says pharmacists also have the opportunity to work more closely with other healthcare professionals, including GPs, and establish a team approach to tackling the issue of diabetes in the community.

“We encourage more pharmacists to become credentialed diabetes educators, as it is a huge opportunity for pharmacy to make a difference,” says Dr Ramadge.

The National Diabetes Strategy has to potential to improve clinical and social outcomes for all Australians with diabetes, the ADEA and ADA say. They are calling on the Health Minister Sussan Ley to meet with them to engage in constructive dialogue that supports implementation of that strategy

Pharmacy can be an important part of that dialogue, says Ramadge.

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