Diabetes Update 2014- Pharmacy Technician
Diabetes is one of the most common chronic diseases in the U.S.; it is estimated that nearly 26 million people are affected – or about 8.3% of the population. The diabetes epidemic does not seem to be stopping, but instead is accelerating as people continue to live longer and more people, including children, adolescents, and young adults, are diagnosed with this disease. Projections suggest that the prevalence of diabetes (diagnosed and undiagnosed) will increase from the current level of 1 in 9 adults to as many as 1 in 3 adults by the year 2050. The impact of diabetes on health is significant. Complications arising from uncontrolled diabetes include macrovascular disease (eg, atherosclerosis leading to heart attacks and strokes) as well as microvascular disease (eg, retinopathy, kidney damage, and neuropathy). These complications now account for nearly 14% of all U.S. healthcare expenditures. The estimated total cost of diagnosed cases of diabetes was $245 billion in 2012, up from $174 billion in 2007. The largest component of this cost (43%) was inpatient medical care. Other direct costs included medications, physician office visits, and nursing/residential facility care. The average person with diabetes spends $13,700 per year on medical expenses; $7,900 is directly attributable to diabetes. In addition, immense indirect costs result from lost productivity, which can also have a psychosocial impact (Table 1). Management of diabetes can be challenging. Delays in diagnosis and suboptimal treatment after diagnosis may contribute to poor health and increased healthcare costs. Educating patients and caregivers about glucose control, blood pressure control and lipid management, along with preventive care for diabetes-related neuropathy affecting the eyes, ears, feet, kidneys, bladder, nerves and heart, can help reduce complications and related hospitalizations. Healthcare providers must stay current with evidence-based recommendations for drug therapy and other medical treatments in an effort to provide optimal, individualized, continuous care for patients with diabetes. This issue focuses on recent changes to the American Diabetes Association (ADA) Standards of Medical Care and new trends in diabetes management. Newly approved medications (canagliflozin [Invokana™], dapagliflozin [Farxiga™] will be covered in the July/August issue.