A New Initiative in the War Against Diabetes

April 16, 2010
5:14 am

One of our nation’s greatest health threats is diabetes.  Over 25 million Americans have it, and another 57 million of us, or one of every four American adults, have pre-diabetic conditions.  If not diagnosed early and treated properly, diabetes can lead to kidney failure, heart disease and a host of other potentially lethal conditions.

And, besides the societal costs, we already know that 70 cents of every healthcare dollar Is spent on the treatment of chronic disease, diabetes being one of the leading cost drivers.

That’s why I’m so encouraged by the initiative being undertaken by the Walgreens’ pharmacies.  Walgreens is working with the insurer United Health and the YMCA.  The Diabetes Control Program will involve trained pharmacists working face-to-face with patients in their local pharmacies, providing personalized coaching and counseling to people with Type 2 diabetes.  These pharmacists will offer advice on how to manage the condition and help ensure that patients are following their physicians’ treatment plans. 

More information about the program can be found here.

I’ve often said that all the public policy in the world can’t do as much to improve public health as intervening person-to-person in the doctor’s office, the clinic or the local drugstore.  Kudos to Wallgreen’s for making a difference on one of the nation’s most pressing health challenges.

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