CPS Research Published in Journal of Pharmacy Practice

All Posts

CPS Research Published in Journal of Pharmacy Practice

Study finds specialty pharmacists help diabetes patients achieve better A1C levels.

June 2024 



When pharmacists are integrated in diabetes care teams, patient outcomes benefit. A1C levels can stabilize, patient satisfaction can increase, and long-term outcomes improve. 


However, little has been studied about the impact of health system specialty pharmacist (HSSP)- led chronic disease management (CDM) services in diabetes clinics. Until now.


The Journal of Pharmacy Practice (JPP) recently published the CPS study, "Impact of Risk Stratification in Patients with Diabetes Mellitus in an HSSP Setting".  


The study's key finding?


Specialty pharmacy-led CDM services help patients achieve better A1C levels.


The implications?

  1. Clinical and cost containment benefits for hospitals and health systems. 
  2. A better long-term health outlook for patients


Health system specialty pharmacy teams improve medication adherence for patients living with chronic conditions.


During the study, our researchers evaluated the impact of a risk-stratified CDM service on diabetes patient outcomes. That's because medication adherence- a key function for HSSP pharmacists- has been shown to lead to better patient outcomes. 


While adherence is key, many patients struggle to maintain it due to barriers such as cost, medication regimen complexity, and poor health literacy. That's where specialty pharmacy-focused CDM services come in. 


CDM services like the one established in this study offer patients living with more common chronic conditions like diabetes "specialty pharmacy-like" support during their care journey.


The HSSP-led care journey for patients living with diabetes

The care journey often looks like this: 

1. Diabetes clinics welcome pharmacists and pharmacy liaisons into their care teams for medication management and therapy support. 


2. There, HSSP teams help providers:
  • Monitor for adherence 
  • Identify and remove barriers to adherence 
  • Assess for therapy effectiveness 
  • Recommend therapy changes as needed 


3. HSSP teams use sophisticated care management technology to document, and risk stratify patients. During our study, diabetes patients were stratified as low or high-risk based on their baseline A1C values. 


4. HSSP pharmacists and pharmacy liaisons provide patients with medication access support, medication appropriateness and safety assessments, drug utilization review, adherence monitoring, and pharmacist education. 


5. Patients considered high-risk can be enrolled in additional programs and pharmacist counseling to help achieve A1C goals. 


Ultimately, HSSPs serve as a key clinician, advocate, and ally for patients, which drives better medication adherence. 


The findings

Overall, our researchers found patients who enrolled in HSSP-lef CDM services saw a greater reduction in their A1C levels than those who did not have access to those services. 


The cost and clinical implications are encouraging. 

That's because one in ten Americans is affected by Type 2 Diabetes, making it one of the most common chronic health burdens facing our country. 


For patients with an A1C greater than 7%, research has found that a reduction of A1C by 1% is associated with a significant decrease in all-cause diabetes related expenditures of $736 annually.


Additionally, diabetes can exacerbate or complicate an individual's comorbid condition, driving costs up and outcomes down. 


The study's findings underscore the clinical value specialty pharmacists deliver to care teams across settings, conditions, and disciplines. 


The authors encourage HSSP teams to use the approach, data, and findings to enhance care delivery for their own diabetes patients. 


Congratulations to our specialty pharmacy team and researchers Mackenzie Stout, PharmD, Carly Giavatto, PharmD, Nicholas McDonald, PharmD, Lauren Bryant, PharmD, Casey Ross, PharmD, Casey Fitzpatrick, PharmD, Jessica Mourani, PharmD, and Ana I. Lopez-Medina, PharmD. 


Download the poster to learn more about the findings: https://perspectives.cps.com/hssp-management-diabetes-mellitus




Submit your contact information below to receive insights from our team of pharmacy solutions experts.