Although National Diabetes Month is recognized each year in November, it’s important to bring attention year-round to this serious disease that currently impacts more than 30 million Americans. In recognition of this month-long holiday, the National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) selects a theme each year to highlight the different aspects of living with diabetes. This year’s theme was “Managing Diabetes - It’s Not Easy, But It’s Worth It.”
The NDEP’s theme highlights the importance of managing diabetes to prevent diabetes-related problems such as heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, vision loss, and amputation. It also serves as a reminder to people who may be struggling with the demands of managing diabetes that they are not alone.
So how can your pharmacy help in managing your diabetes?
Patients interact with their pharmacists more than any of their other health care providers. Because pharmacists typically have the most face-to-face encounters with patients throughout the year, they have the best opportunity to give support, especially to patients managing diabetes. Here are several examples of how your pharmacist can help you navigate your diabetes and help you prevent further complications.
Pharmacists Can Answer Your Diabetes-Related Medication Questions
Whether it’s a question about changing insurance and what will best meet your needs, or which of your many prescribed diabetes medications are safest to take together, your pharmacist can be your quickest resource to help you navigate your health.
Your pharmacist should also know when it’s best to seek the opinion of another health provider for additional information about your diabetes–from dietitians for your nutritional health to psychologists for mental health services that may be triggered by diabetes. Your pharmacist can be your first responder to diabetic issues, especially when you can’t get a hold of your doctor.
Pharmacists Can Help You with Diabetic Equipment
Knowing how to properly manage your diabetic equipment, like blood sugar monitors and insulin pumps, is integral to your overall health and key to preventing complications caused by diabetes. Your pharmacist can ensure that as your health improves, you are not unintentionally putting yourself at risk by misusing medication or equipment.
Your pharmacist not only has the capability to order your preferred diabetic equipment, but they can help show you how to use them too. From identifying equipment that is no longer functioning properly to knowing how to use your equipment properly without wasting it, your pharmacist is there to help you get the most out of your recommended equipment.
Pharmacists Can Help You Receive Maximum Benefits from Insurance or Your Pharmacy Discount Card
Do you know if you can you stay on the same diabetes medication with the same co-pay if your insurance changes? Questions like these are constant stressors for those with diabetes. Your pharmacist can help you navigate insurance changes while still making sure your co-pays stay within a manageable range. If there are changes to your co-pay amount, they can even help point you in the right direction in terms of medication with the help of your primary care physician.
The same concept applies to pharmacy discount cards. Your pharmacist can work with your physician to help you decide what is the best medication for your overall health, while also ensuring that you receive the best price possible when using your discount card. Remember, pharmacy discount cards cannot be used in conjunction with insurance, but your pharmacist can help you determine which option will get you the best price on the medications need you.
Think of your pharmacist as your diabetes educator, easily accessible by the phone and within the pharmacy to answer your questions and meet your needs–no appointment necessary. Your pharmacist has access to your medical history, medications, and what your insurance or discount card will cover. Utilize them to help you manage your diabetes and avoid future complications.For more information on common diabetes medications and how they should be taken, read our blog “Evaluating the Most Prescribed Medications for Type 2 Diabetes,” and download our free Community Cares Rx Prescription Discount Card to receive discounts on your diabetes medications at your local pharmacy.