The fight against type 2 diabetes is about to be boosted with a major trial of diabetes screening in community pharmacies.
The Pharmacy Guild of Australia has welcomed the launch of the Pharmacy Diabetes Screening Trial, which is part of the Sixth Community Pharmacy Agreement (6CPA) $50 million Pharmacy Trial Program.
Speaking at a Guild Member pharmacy at the Gold Coast, which is involved in the trial, the Minister for Health and Aged Care, Sussan Ley MP said: “Extending the role of community pharmacists in primary healthcare will help more Australians to get tested for type 2 diabetes”.
The trial will get underway in the next few weeks, and will see 363 randomly selected pharmacies across Australia test the effectiveness of different approaches in diabetes detection. Patients will be aged 35-74 years, without diabetes or impaired blood sugar control, and will not have been tested for diabetes in the previous 12 months.
The trial involves three alternative models of screening the general population to detect risk, aid diagnosis and enable earlier interventions to prevent the development of diabetes and its complications. Based on the screening outcome, the patient may then be referred to their doctor for follow-up.
Type 2 diabetes usually develops in adults older than 45 years, but it is becoming increasingly common in younger age groups, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and those with a family history of diabetes. The prevalence of diabetes is currently in excess of four per cent, and is growing quickly. It is estimated that there are four undiagnosed cases for every five diagnosed cases.
The trial is a collaboration between the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, the University of Sydney and Deakin University.
The 6CPA Pharmacy Trial Program, funded by the federal Government, was established to trial new and expanded programs that seek to improve clinical outcomes for consumers and/or extend the role of pharmacists in the delivery of primary healthcare services through community pharmacy.