A unique pilot program in some U.S. cities is cutting the drug costs to zero for hundreds of patients with diabetes. It's called the "Ten City Challenge".
In testing sites from Hawaii to Florida, the American Pharmacists Association Foundation is recruiting businesses to pay for all diabetic supplies and an hour each month with a specially trained pharmacist for their diabetic employees. The theory is that the company will benefit because their diabetic employees will end up having fewer days off, fewer visits to the doctor, and fewer trips to the hospital.
So far, early research on this project shows that it is working. Linda Gehrt, a pharmacist in the ‘Ten City Challenge', says, "Diabetes is a very complicated disease. It's not as simple as a taking a pill and your diabetes will get better". Diabetes patient Marjana Marinac adds, "My control now has been better than it's ever been".
Instead of just handing over the supplies that the patient needs to control diabetes, the pharmacists in the "Ten City Challenge" counsel them about things that can make Type-1 diabetes worse, like a lack of exercise and sleep, bad dieting and stress.
This pilot program is only available in 10-select U.S. cities and is not currently in Texas.