Pharmacy Times, Volume 0, 0

A recently publishedreview ofMedicaid claims inOhio between 1997and 2002 showedthat African Americanpatients withnewly diagnosednonvalvular atrial fibrillation (AF) were25% less likely to fill prescriptions forwarfarin than their Caucasian counterparts.Clinical predictors of warfarin usefor nonvalvular AF have been welldescribedin previous studies, but little isknown about racial disparities in warfarinprescribing.

The main outcome measure of thestudy was the filling of a warfarin prescriptionat any time between 7 daysprior to and 30 days after the diagnosis ofAF. The authors identified 6283 patientswith a new diagnosis of AF, 18.5% ofwhom were African American. Prescriptionswere filled by 9.4% ofCaucasian patients and 7.6% of AfricanAmerican patients. The 2 strongest predictorsof filling the prescription wereinpatient diagnosis of AF and having 2 ormore outpatient visits in the year prior todiagnosis.

Dr. Garrett is a clinical pharmacist practitioner at Cornerstone Health Carein High Point, NC.