Thirteen Pharmasave stores across B.C., including the Parksville location, are taking part in a pharmacist-led clinical trial which utilizes a therapeutic nutrition program to support the goal of reducing the need for glucose-lowering medications in patients with type 2 diabetes. — Lauren Collins photo

Pharmasave, UBC aim to reduce medication use in diabetes

Parksville location offering trials

Starting immediately, 13 Pharmasave stores across British Columbia, including the Parksville location, are taking part in a pharmacist-led clinical trial that utilizes a therapeutic nutrition program to support the goal of reducing the need for glucose-lowering medications in patients with type-2 diabetes.

This study is a partnership between Pharmasave and UBC Okanagan (UBC-O). Community pharmacists from the 13 Pharmasave sites will participate in an evidence-based clinical research study to test whether a low-carbohydrate therapeutic nutrition intervention (currently being offered at a number of Pharmasave locations) can help patients with type-2 diabetes get their blood sugar levels under control, reduce their medications, and decrease their overall risk of cardiovascular disease.

In Canada, more than a million people are living with type-2 diabetes and, worldwide, 1-in-11 adults has diabetes.

The cost to individuals and their families and to the healthcare system is growing at an epidemic rate, Pharmasave stated in a written release.

People diagnosed with type 2 diabetes typically take multiple medications to help lower their blood sugar, and often struggle to manage their overall health. This research project will aid in the development of new approaches in type 2 diabetes and chronic disease management.

“Positioning community pharmacists to lead a therapeutic nutrition intervention is an innovative idea with great potential to make a positive impact on the health of individuals living with type-2 diabetes. The concept of pharmacists leading nutrition intervention in the community to get people off their diabetes medications is extremely novel and forward thinking. We are excited to be working with Pharmasave on this clinical trial,” said Dr. Jonathan Little, UBC-O researcher.

“As medications experts, pharmacists are extremely knowledgeable about the pathophysiology of diabetes and the many medications used to manage this condition. Pharmacists are uniquely positioned in the healthcare system to integrate nutrition into the care plan for their patients. We think this approach has enormous potential for changing diabetes management not just in BC, but beyond,” said Greg Shepherd, Pharmasave Pacific CEO.

“We know the significant impact type 2 diabetes has on the lives of our patients, and we are proud to be part of research that could result in such a life-changing outcome.”

Study participants will attend weekly follow-up meetings with a Pharmasave coach throughout the 12 weeks, during which various study-specific measures will be recorded.

Pharmasave pharmacists will be actively engaged in each step of the study, and, through collaboration with patients and their physicians, will ensure that appropriate medication adjustments are made.

Submitted by Pharmasave

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