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Turn a negative into a positive

Nov 25, 2014

How many times have you heard one of the following statements in general conversation or at clinical practice?  “I am a diabetic,” “The person is a diabetic,”  “The person is hypertensive and a diabetic,” “The patient is hyperglycemic,” or “The patient is hypoglycemic.”

This type of phrasing was written about last year in an AADE blog.  I wanted to bring it up for discussion again among the membership.  I have been in clinic many times over the past several months, and heard adjectives used to describe patients.  I even attended a national pharmacy meeting and listened to a presenter’s lecture on patient-centered medical home.  Throughout this presentation, I heard the same thing – adjectives used to describe patients.  It is very discouraging to describe patients or any individual as an adjective.  Let’s make this negative a positive for our patients. People are not adjectives; they are nouns – a human being to be exact.  Therefore, we should be correct when addressing people as individuals WITH a disease state.

On another note, there have been several medications approved for diabetes mellitus this year.  Here is a summary of the medications:

• Dapagliflozin (or Farxiga) – SGLT-2 inhibitor
• Empagliflozin (or Jardiance) – SGLT-2 inhibitor
• Albigutide (or Tanzeum) – GLP-1 agonist
• Dulaglutide (or Trulicity) – GLP-1 agonist
• Inhaled insulin (or Afrezza) – rapid-acting insulin

There is no “perfect” medication on the market for any disease state. While a medication may be efficacious, there can be risks associated with the medication.  Patients may or may not experience adverse events with a specific medication. We could agree and disagree on the “me-too drugs” that have been approved or the difficulty in selecting a specific agent within a therapeutic class. However, let’s make this negative thought into a positive one. We should be thankful for the variety of options for diabetes mellitus. These options allow us to truly individualize the plan for a patient based on numerous factors.

For any issue that is discussed in clinical practice with providers, colleagues, or patients, always think on the brighter side and be positive!

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