It is estimated that some twenty one million Americans have
diabetes and approximately six million are unaware that they have condition.
Debra Lopez, a faculty member in The University of Texas at
Austin College of Pharmacy and expert in the treatment of diabetes, teaches pharmacy students to learn about symptoms and different options for patients. "Treatment is very individualized," Lopez says. "If a patient is obese, he doesn't want to use a drug that could cause weight gain or, if he has heart failure, the patient should avoid treatments that have the side effect of water weight gain."
Cost, too, is important to examine. Some of the medications
have generics. Pharmacists should know how to advise patients on the
traditional insulins and the newer insulins.
Lopez also is the residency director of the diabetes and
general pharmacy clinic at Blackstock Family Practice in Austin, a rotation site for PharmD students.