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Pharmacist-led interventions may help prevent cardiovascular disease

Meta-analysis finds pharmacist-led interventions associated with reductions in blood pressure, blood glucose, and blood cholesterol

Ingrid Torjesen

Thursday, 28 November 2019

Pharmacist-led initiatives, such as patient education, medication review, and physical assessments, can make important contributions to the prevention of cardiovascular disease a review and analysis* published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology suggests.

Researchers at the University of Birmingham, in the UK, conducted a review of relevant published randomised controlled clinical trials. They identified 21 trials with a total of 8,933 patients.

Pharmacist-led interventions looked at by the trials included patient education, medication review and counselling, physical assessment, assessing adherence, lifestyle modification, and medication management (such as prescribing, adjusting, monitoring, and administering therapy, and identifying drug-related problems). The most frequently used pharmacist-led interventions were medication review and medication management.

Patients receiving pharmacist-led interventions experienced significant reductions in their systolic blood pressure (by an average of -9.33 mmHg); haemoglobin A1c (by an average of -0.76%); and LDL-cholesterol (by an average of -15.19 mg/dl). Pharmacist-led interventions also helped patients correctly follow their prescribed medication regimens.

"The evidence presented in this review provides an important message to health systems and policy makers regarding the effectiveness of general practice-based pharmacists' interventions," said researcher Abdullah Alshehri. "The significant reductions in blood pressure, blood glucose, and blood cholesterol reported in this meta-analysis, if sustained in clinical practice, could have significant implications for managing hypertension, diabetes and dyslipidaemia that could prevent cardiovascular morbidity and mortality."

Alshehri noted that the findings support a greater involvement of pharmacists in general practice.

"This will benefit health organisations by providing cost-effective care associated with greater control of patients' conditions and their medications," he said.

*Alshehri AA, Jalal Z, Cheema E, et al. Impact of the Pharmacist‐Led Intervention on the Control of Medical Cardiovascular Risk Factors for the Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease in General Practice: A Systematic Review and Meta‐Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. First published: 27 November 2019. DOI:10.1111/bcp.14164

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