Pharmacy diabetes care program: analysis of two screening methods for undiagnosed type 2 diabetes in Australian community pharmacy

Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2007 Mar;75(3):339-47. doi: 10.1016/j.diabres.2006.06.022. Epub 2006 Aug 1.


Objective: To compare the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of two methods of screening for undiagnosed type 2 diabetes in Australian community pharmacy.

Methods: A random sample of 30 pharmacies were allocated into two groups: (i) tick test only (TTO); or (ii) sequential screening (SS) method. Both methods used the same initial risk assessment for type 2 diabetes. Subjects with one or more risk factors in the TTO group were offered a referral to their general practitioner (GP). Under the SS method, patients with risk factors were offered a capillary blood glucose test and those identified as being at risk referred to a GP. The effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of these approaches was assessed.

Results: A total of 1286 people were screened over a period of 3 months. The rate of diagnosis of diabetes was significantly higher for SS compared with the TTO method (1.7% versus 0.2%; p=0.008). The SS method resulted in fewer referrals to the GP and a higher uptake of referrals than the TTO method and so was the more cost-effective screening method.

Conclusions: SS is the superior method from a cost and efficacy perspective. It should be considered as the preferred option for screening by community based pharmacists in Australia.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Australia / epidemiology
  • Blood Glucose / analysis*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / epidemiology*
  • Heart Diseases / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / epidemiology
  • Mass Screening / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Pharmacies* / standards
  • Reference Values
  • Referral and Consultation
  • Risk Factors


  • Blood Glucose