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Sixty Percent of Australians with Type 2 Diabetes not Meeting Blood Glucose Level Targets

Sanofi - Sixty per cent of Australians with type 2 diabetes not meeting blood glucose level targets - News

Sixty Per Cent of Australians with Type 2 Diabetes not Meeting Blood Glucose Level Targets1, 2

Sanofi, the number one diabetes healthcare company in Australia4, is today calling on the Federal Government to join with them to co-fund a GP diabetes education program aimed at reducing a growing financial burden on the Australian healthcare system.

The education program, developed jointly with endocrinologists, GPs, diabetes educators, pharmacists and Sanofi outlines how, by bringing blood glucose levels to target, GPs can play a key role in cutting future costs on healthcare by reducing the likelihood and severity of diabetes-related complications.

“Evidence suggests that glycaemic control of people living with type 2 diabetes in Australia is currently suboptimal1,5. While the goal of diabetes management is to bring blood glucose levels to target, studies have shown that 60 per cent of Australians with type 2 diabetes fail to meet their HbA1c target1,2,” says Medical Director of Sanofi Australia and New Zealand, Dr Jamshed Ahmed.

Dr Gary Deed, a General Practitioner in Queensland commented, “Pharmacists can play a pivotal role in diabetes care by providing support and education to patients with type 2 diabetes. Helping people with diabetes understand their diabetes treatment and directing people back to their doctor when glycaemic control is sub optimal is a vital part of diabetes management.”

“If left undiagnosed or poorly controlled, diabetes and persistent high blood glucose levels can lead to a range of long-term complications including coronary heart disease, peripheral vascular disease, stroke, diabetic neuropathy, kidney failure, limb amputations and blindness6,” he explains.

This lack of glycaemic control is often attributable to the fact many healthcare professionals are reluctant to intensify treatment quickly in their type 2 diabetes patients1, particularly in prescribing insulin7. This means that patients don’t move to a more appropriate treatment option in a timely manner, despite guidelines supporting the need to 8,9. This is often referred to as ‘clinical inertia’.

To address this treatment gap, Sanofi engaged with GPs, pharmacists, endocrinologists and diabetes educators to develop a two-day, RACGP accredited, peer-to-peer training program for GPs, called the Insulin Leadership Summit (ILS)10.

“The ILS education program is delivered by GPs and editorially independent. It has been running for six years, providing GPs with the necessary information and capability to deliver appropriate insulin management for patients with type 2 diabetes,” says Dr Ahmed.

“More than 1,300 GPs have already participated in the program, primarily in metropolitan areas around Australia. The response we’ve had has been fantastic. In fact, 92 per cent of attendees said the program helped them to overcome barriers they had to initiating insulin therapy and to better apply current type 2 diabetes management guidelines,” he explains.

Dr Deed supports the need for greater diabetes education saying, “GP education, as part of a multidisciplinary team approach including pharmacists, is key to diabetes care and management in Australia.

“I urge the Government to support the success of the ILS program to ensure patients with type 2 diabetes in rural and regional areas are not left vulnerable and forced to put further strain on our health system.”

1. Davis TM, Davis WA, Bruce DG. Glycaemic levels triggering intensification of therapy in type 2 diabetes in the community: the Freemantle Diabetes Study. Med J Aust 2006; 184: 325-8.
2. Del Prato S, Felton AM, Munro N, Nesto R, Zimmet P Zinman B. Improving glucose management: ten steps to get more patients with type 2 diabetes to glycaemic goal. Int J Clin Pract 2005;59:1345–55.
3. Vivian EM. The pharmacist’s role in maintaining adherence to insulin therapy in type 2 diabetes mellitus. Consult Pharm. 2007 Apr;22(4):320-32.
4. Based on MiPortal MAT figures, 2015. Diabetes Market – MAT to March 2015, F1 only. Published in Pharma in Focus on 8 March 2015.
5. Bryant W, Greenfield JR, Chisholm DJ et al. Diabetes guidelines: easier to preach than to practise? A retrospective audit of outpatient management of type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus. Med J Aust 2006; 185: 305-9.
6. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2010. Australia’s health 2010. Australia’s Health Series No. 12. Cat. No. AUS 122. Canberra: AIHW.
7. Furler J, Spritzer O, Young D, Best J. Insulin in general practice. Barriers and enablers for timely initiation. Aust Fam Physician 2011; 40: 617–21.
8. Colagiuri S, Dickinson S, Girgis S, Colagiuri R. National evidence based guideline for blood glucose control in type 2 diabetes. 2009. Canberra, Diabetes Australia and the NHMRC.
9. Diabetes management in general practice 2012/13. Guidelines for type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Australia. August 2002.
10. Deed, G et al (16 August 2013). Peer-to-peer, multidisciplinary, procedural-focussed education increases GP confidence in insulin initiation and up-titration in T2D, Australian Diabetes Society Poster.
11. National Diabetes Services Scheme and Diabetes Australia (31 March 2015). Statistical Snapshot: All Types of Diabetes.
12. Dunstan D, Zimmet P, Welborn T, Sicree R, Armstrong T, Atkins R, Cameron A, Shaw J Chadban S (2001). Diabesity and associated disorders in Australia – 2000: the accelerating epidemic. The Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle Study (AusDiab). Melbourne: International Diabetes Institute.
13. Shaw J, Tanamas S. Diabetes: the silent pandemic and its impact on Australia. Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, 2012.

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