University of East Anglia | March 2019 | Type 2 Diabetes screening in community pharmacies could increase early diagnosis
Research undertaken by the University of East Anglia in conjunction with high street pharmacy Boots, identifies community pharmacies as being well positioned to screen patients for type 2 diabetes.
Researchers studied the cost effectiveness of a pilot in community pharmacies in Surrey and Leicester; with data collected from 328 participants during a six month period in 2014. The experts found that the cost of each test and the pilot’s identification statistics in patients were similar to those in medical practices for type 2. The team reduced the number of tests needed through a risk screening questionnaire.
The authors suggest providing a targeted screening service at a community service in an area with suspected high prevalence of type 2 diabetes could increase the proportion of patients who follow pharmacist advice to visit their GP- which would reduce the cost-effectiveness of the screening service.
Prof David Wright, from UEA’s School of Pharmacy, said: “This study shows that screening though community pharmacies is no more costly or less effective than undertaken through other routes. For such services to be cost-effective however, we also need to intervene in those identified as ‘high risk’ to prevent progression to diabetes.
“This is a natural addition to the diabetes screening process and, with appropriate funding, is something which community pharmacists can effectively do to contribute to the public health agenda.” (Source: University of East Anglia)
Read the full press release at University of East Anglia
The paper has been published in the journal Pharmacy
Full reference: Wright, D., Little, R., Turner, D., & Thornley, T. |2019| Diabetes Screening Through Community Pharmacies in England: A Cost-Effectiveness Study| Pharmacy| 7| 1| 30.
Community pharmacies are commonly used to screen for patients with diabetes. The aim of this paper is to estimate the cost per test and cost per appropriately referred patient from a pharmacy perspective using a one-year decision tree model. One-way sensitivity analysis was performed to estimate the effect of geographical location and patient self-referral rate. Data was used from 164 patients screened and located in an area with average social deprivation and largely white European inhabitants and 172 patients in an area with higher social deprivation (lower than average ability to access society’s resources) and a mixed ethnicity population in England. The diabetes screening consisted of initial risk assessment via questionnaire followed by HbA1c test for those identified as high risk. The cost per person screened was estimated as £28.65. The cost per appropriately referred patient with type 2 diabetes was estimated to range from £7638 to £11,297 in deprived mixed ethnicity and non-deprived areas respectively. This increased to £12,730 and £18,828, respectively, if only 60% of patients referred chose to inform their general practitioner (GP). The cost per test and identification rates through community pharmacies was similar to that reported through medical practices. Locating services in areas of suspected greater diabetes prevalence and increasing the proportion of patients who follow pharmacist advice to attend their medical practice improves cost-effectiveness.
The article can also be accessed in full here