Pharmacy offers intensive care

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

CARLSBAD, Calif.--Diabetes patients should have their own personal pharmacist, say the founders of A1c Rx, a new full-service pharmacy that specializes in working one-on-one with its customers.

“When patients leave their physicians’ offices, they are often asked to manage a very complex medical regimen,” said Michael Bosse, co-founder and CEO of A1c Rx, which opened in October. “We think pharmacists can serve a vital role to help them do that.”

New customers begin with a 45-minute “brown bag” session during which pharmacists review their prescription, over-the-counter medications and possible drug interactions, and conduct glucometer training.

The pharmacist creates a detailed personal medication record that includes a recommended glucose-testing schedule. The record is updated any time there is a change in medication.

After the initial visit, the patient receives monthly, free home delivery. Patients can also schedule 15-minute follow-up visits. The pharmacy accepts most Medicare and private insurances - most of which pay for diabetes consultative services.

A1c Rx modeled itself after the “Asheville Project” in North Carolina. To cut healthcare costs, city employees with chronic conditions receive intensive education and are matched with pharmacists to manage their medications.

“They pay pharmacies to proactively intervene with some difficult-to-manage patients,” said Bosse. “They found they save the system money overall, including (spending) on medications and hospitals, simply by letting the medication experts do what we do best.”