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To develop an evidence-based checklist to identify potential drug related problems (PDRP) in patients with type 2 diabetes.The evidence based checklist was applied to records of ambulatory type 2 diabetes patients in New South Wales, Australia.After comprehensive review of the literature, relevant medication groups and potential drug related problems in type 2 diabetes were identified. All the relevant information was then structured in the form of a checklist. To test the utility of the evidence-based checklist a cross-sectional retrospective study was conducted. The PDRP checklist was applied to the data of 148 patients with established type 2 diabetes and poor glycaemic control. The range and extent of DRPs in this population were identified, which were categorized using the PCNE classification. In addition, the relationship between the total as well as each category of DRPs and several of the patients' clinical parameters was investigated. Main outcome measure: Number and category of DRPs per patient.The PDRP checklist was successfully developed and consisted of six main sections. 682 potential DRPs were identified using the checklist, an average of 4.6 (SD = 1.7) per patient. Metabolic and blood pressure control in the study subjects was generally poor: with a mean HbA1c of 8.7% (SD = 1.5) and mean blood pressure of 139.8 mmHg (SD = 18.1)/81.7 mmHg (SD = 11.1). The majority of DRPs was recorded in the categories ‘therapy failure’ (n = 264) and ‘drug choice problem’ (n = 206). Potentially non-adherent patients had a significantly higher HbA1c than patients who adhered to therapy (HbA1c of 9.4% vs. 8.5%; P = 0.01).This is the first tool developed specifically to detect potential DRPs in patients with type 2 diabetes. It was used to identify DRPs in a sample of type 2 diabetes patients and demonstrated the high prevalence of DRPs per patient. The checklist may assist pharmacists and other health care professionals to systematically identify issues in therapy and management of their type 2 diabetes patients and enable earlier intervention to improve metabolic control.