Investigating the effect of prescribing status and patient characteristics on the therapeutic outcomes in patients with diabetes using a leftover drug adjustment protocol

Toshiyuki Hirai, Shunsuke Hanaoka, Yuusuke Terakado, Toshiichi Seki, Fumiyuki Watanabe

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Treatment for diabetes includes anti-diabetic medication in addition to lifestyle improvements through diet and exercise. In Japan, protocol-based pharmacotherapy management allows drug treatment to be provided through cooperation between physicians and pharmacists, based on a protocol that is prepared and agreed upon in advance. However, there are no studies to clarify the relationship between patient characteristics and therapeutic effects after pharmacist intervention in protocol-based pharmacotherapy management for patients with diabetes. Therefore, this study aimed to use protocol-based reports from pharmacies to understand the status of outpatient diabetes medication compliance. We classified patients with diabetes on the basis of patient characteristics that can be collected in pharmacies and investigated the characteristics that impacted diabetes treatment. Patients were prescribed oral anti-diabetic drugs at outpatient clinics of Hitachinaka General Hospital, Hitachi, Ltd., from April 2016 to March 2021. Survey items included patient characteristics (sex, age, number of drugs used, observed number of years of anti-diabetic drug prescription, number of anti-diabetic drug prescription days, and presence or absence of leftover anti-diabetic drugs) and HbA1c levels. Graphical analyses indicated the relationship between each categorised patient characteristic using multiple correspondence analyses. Subsequently, the patients were clustered using K-means cluster analysis based on the coordinates obtained for each patient. Patient characteristics and HbA1c values were compared between the groups for each cluster. A total of 1,910 patients were included and classified into three clusters, with clusters 1, 2, and 3 containing 625, 703, and 582 patients, respectively. Patient characteristics strongly associated with Cluster 1 were ages between 65 and 74 years, use of three or more anti-diabetic drugs, use of 3 years or more of anti-diabetic drugs, and leftover anti-diabetic drugs. Furthermore, Cluster 1 had the highest number of patients with worsening HbA1c levels compared with other clusters. Using the leftover drug adjustment protocol, we clarified the patient characteristics that affected the treatment course. We anticipate that through targeted interventions in patients exhibiting these characteristics, we can identify those who are irresponsibly continuing with drug treatment, are not responding well to therapy, or both. This could substantially improve the efficacy of their anti-diabetic care.


  • K-means cluster analysis
  • diabetes
  • diabetes treatment
  • leftover drug
  • medication adherence
  • multiple correspondence analysis
  • pharmacy


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