Novo Nordisk joins with nursing group to highlight correlation between Type 2 diabetes and cardio risk

Despite atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) being the leading cause of death for people with Type 2 diabetes, half of those people have no idea of this risk. Novo Nordisk has teamed up with the Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association (PCNA) for “Making the Connection,” a program to help increase understanding of the link between the two diseases.

The program launched during Nurses Week and aims to ensure that all nurses are aware of the link between Type 2 diabetes and ASCVD and how they can better educate their patients with Type 2 diabetes of that link and the dangers involved. In addition to ASCVD, people with Type 2 diabetes are also four times more likely to have myocardial infarction, heart disease or stroke than people without diabetes, and it’s imperative that people with Type 2 diabetes are aware of these risks.

“Nurses are really focused on providing education … helping to provide a deeper level of education and ensure that patients have the awareness and the knowledge that they need, to really to empower them to be aware and to do a better job managing their own disease,” Michael Radin, M.D., Novo Nordisk’s executive director, diabetes, medical affairs, said. “So that's really the focus on nurses is because their purview really is around providing that education to the patient.”

Making the Connection is a U.S.-centric retooling of a program that Novo Nordisk originally launched internationally before deciding to address America’s growing Type 2 diabetes epidemic. Novo Nordisk is the driving force behind the program, and the pharma asked the PCNA to be a part of designing the curriculum to best meet the needs of the nurses taking the course.

The free online program is sectioned into five modules and then further broken down into three tracks aimed at three different nursing specialties. There are cardiac nurses—who obviously understand the cardiac aspect well but may not be as familiar with diabetes— the non-cardiac nurse who may really understand Type 2 diabetes but not the link to ASCVD, and the third group are nurse practitioners who are able to  prescribe therapy. The goal is to close any education gaps so they are informed enough to prescribe the correct therapies.

Novo’s outreach of the program included an email blast to over 30,000 nurses; there are newsletters and flyers along with promotion at nursing events, and the PCNA is promoting the effort through its Facebook page, Twitter and in newsletter communications with its members. After completing the program, the users can download a pocket card highlighting the key concepts of the course.

Novo has been in the diabetes space for a while, but this program adds to the pharma’s recent forays into cardiovascular arena.