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Innovative UBC and Pharmasave pharmacist-led study lends new hope in the management of type 2 diabetes

November 15, 2018

A research partnership between Pharmasave and UBC is studying whether a therapeutic carbohydrate-restricted nutrition program can help reduce the need for glucose-lowering medications. In the study, patients with diabetes and taking glucose-lowering medications are monitored closely by their pharmacist while they follow a low-carbohydrate, moderate protein, ketogenic program. A ketogenic diet is an example of a specific nutritional approach for people with type 2 diabetes. Early review of data from some study participants shows promise that this nutritional approach could bring positive results in the treatment of diabetes and, in some cases, may even reverse the progression of Type 2 diabetes. In this video, J.J., a study participant from Vancouver Island, B.C., shares his experience of losing weight, feeling better and taking less medication by changing the way he eats.

Dr. Jonathan Little, the lead UBC Okanagan researcher explains, “Community pharmacists are ideally positioned as drug therapy experts to monitor the therapeutic impact of a low-carbohydrate nutrition intervention. This is an extremely novel and innovative approach to get people off their diabetes medications and has great potential to make a positive impact on the health of individuals living with type 2 diabetes. We are excited to be working with Pharmasave on this clinical trial. We are seeing incredible results so far and are almost at the finish line”.

Allison Nourse, National Director, Pharmacy Innovation at Pharmasave says, “Pharmacists play a critical role in monitoring medications and working collaboratively within a patient’s circle of care to adjust dosages and even eliminate or deprescribe medications that may no longer be needed. If you are taking prescription medications and you make lifestyle changes to improve your health, such as changes to the foods you usually eat or changes to your activity level, it is important to work with a pharmacist to ensure your medications are properly optimized.”

Diabetes is a serious and potentially fatal condition that affects over 3 million Canadians. An additional 6 million Canadians have pre-diabetes, which is a condition where blood sugars are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. Many are unaware they have pre-diabetes, and without treatment, 1 in 2 will go on to develop diabetes.¹

Pharmacists are able to support those with pre-diabetes or diabetes in many ways, including supporting healthy lifestyle choices, medication management and more, including:

  • Recommending tools and resources to support individuals in following their medication regimen and taking control of their healthcare, including: medication management, medication review and medication synchronization with MedAlign@Pharmasave;
  • Training insulin-dependent people in effective injection technique;
  • Checking that immunizations are current including pneumonia, shingles and flu vaccines;
  • Providing education about blood sugar targets, self-monitoring and diabetes foot care; and
  • Informing, encouraging and supporting individuals in making healthier lifestyle choices like diet and exercise.

If you are interested in participating in this research or have any questions please contact for more information.


About Pharmasave:

With more than 650 stores across the country, Pharmasave is one of Canada’s leading independent community pharmacies. Since being founded in 1981, Pharmasave has focused on building a national platform of community-based retail outlets designed to provide exceptional patient-centred healthcare, medication advice, drug store products and customer service. MedAlign@Pharmasave is a collection of services that help patients manage their medications more effectively, increases patient adherence and improves health outcomes. Through MedAlign@Pharmasave, pharmacists provide medication reviews and medication synchronization, assisting patients by aligning their refills to come due on the same day.

Pharmasave continues to differentiate itself through leading-edge digital solutions. Patients can access everyday tools to manage their health in ways that are simple to set up and easy to maintain with eCare@Pharmasave. This suite of interactive solutions enables patients to engage digitally with their pharmacy and empowers them with mobile refills, medication reminders and so much more. Each Pharmasave store operates independently to serve its individual community, tailoring both programs and services to the unique needs of customers and reinforcing the commitment to help all customers live well with Pharmasave.

For more information, contact:

Media Relations
Pharmasave Drugs (National) Ltd.

¹Diabetes Canada, prediabetes:

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