Magazine article Drug Topics

R.Ph.S Eat, Sleep, Breathe (and Bill for) Diabetes Care

Magazine article Drug Topics

R.Ph.S Eat, Sleep, Breathe (and Bill for) Diabetes Care

Article excerpt

A little over a year ago, Jerry Meece, R.Ph., owner of Plaza (Pharmacy and Wellness Center, Gainesville, Texas, came to Milpitas, Calif., for four days. Along with about 38 other pharmacists, he wore an ID bracelet, woke up at 6:00 A.M. to exercise for 30 minutes, kept track of the carbohydrates he ate, calculated his body mass index, monitored his blood pressure and blood glucose level several times a day, and examined his feet before he went to sleep. If that weren't enough, one evening at 3:00 A.M., he and some of the other pharmacists were awakened and told they were having a hypoglycemic reaction. They had to test their blood glucose level, take glucose tablets, and retest.

What was a group of healthy pharmacists doing in a place like this? Why do RPs continue to go there? It's all part of LifeScan's diabetes care certificate program, Pharmacy Partners in Diabetes Care (PPDC).

"They are living the life of a person with diabetes who is following the current American Diabetes Association [ADA] recommendations. We hope they would give these recommendations to patients," said Kim Kelly, Pharm.D., director of diabetes programs for LifeScan. Kelly oversees PPDC. More than 400 pharmacists have completed the program, which costs $1,500, since it was launched 18 months ago.

While there is no shortage of diabetes training programs, what makes PPDC unique is that pharmacists learn firsthand what it's like to have diabetes so they can help diabetes patients monitor and manage their disease state.

Meece went on to become a certified diabetes educator (C.D.E.) after completing LifeScan's program, which he dubbed "a boot camp for diabetes education." Today, he does a significant amount of diabetes counseling at his pharmacy Consultation fees range from $50 to $125 per hoax: Insurance company reimbursements range from $400 to $600 for a long-term range of care. He also gives lectures to diabetes patients. "One of the first things I tell them is, 'I've been in your shoes for only a few days and I realize how complicated your life is,' " said Meece.

Developed by Kelly with Keith Campbell, R.Ph., C.D.E., associate dean and professor of pharmacy practice at the Washington State University College of Pharmacy, the PPDC program is made up of two parts. The first part is a home study course that takes approximately a month and a half to complete and offers 30 hours of continuing education credit. The CE contains 500 pages of material in eight modules and 1,100 pages of appendices, consisting of primary literature and handouts from various organizations. …

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