Pharmacists Key in Treatment of Hypertension

Patients with hypertension achieve greater blood pressure control when treatment plans include pharmacist intervention, according to a recent study.

Patients with high blood pressure benefit from increased intervention from pharmacists, according to a study published in the March issue of the journal Pharmacotherapy. Researchers monitored the progress of 104 patients diagnosed with hypertension and found that patients who received care from both pharmacists and physicians showed marked improvements in blood pressure control over time.

The trial was designed to examine the benefits of “team care,” in which interdisciplinary groups of health care providers—including nurses, physicians, and pharmacists—work together to improve patient outcomes. As part of the study, nurses measured participants’ blood pressure at baseline and after 9 months of treatment. Researchers then collected data from the same patients’ medical records 18 months after the study ended, then again after 27 months to assess long-term results.

After the initial 9 months, patients who received collaborative care from a physician-pharmacist team reduced their blood pressure from an average baseline measurement (mean ± standard deviation systolic blood pressure) of 152.5 ± 9.5 mm Hg down to 124.5 ± 10.7 mm Hg, compared with a reduction from 150.1 ± 9.6 mm Hg to 132.0 ± 15.1 mm Hg in the control group. At the end of the treatment period, 78.5% of patients in the physician-pharmacist intervention group achieved blood pressure control, compared with only 48.7% in the control group.

The results were similar at 18 and 27 months, though blood pressure did deteriorate at a similar rate in both groups following the initial treatment period. Overall, the percentage of patients who maintained blood pressure control remained comparatively high in the intervention group long after the trial ended. The findings, researchers concluded, suggest that treatment plans for high blood pressure should include long-term involvement of pharmacists to achieve better clinical outcomes. For other articles in this issue, see:

NCPA Initiative Targets Unsafe Drug Disposal

Survey Highlights Shifting Face of Pharmacy

Pharmacy Advocates Deliver Change

Health Care Reform: Pharmacy Perspectives