Pharmacists Are Vital to Heart Health

Pharmacy TimesFebruary 2024
Volume 90
Issue 2

Valentine’s day isn’t the only heart-centric event happening in February. Each year, this month marks American Heart Month, providing us with an important opportunity to remind pharmacists that they are crucial in the fight against cardiovascular disease.

3d rendered illustration of heart attack and heart disease 3D illustration - Image credit: appledesign |

Image credit: appledesign |

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States for men and women in most racial and ethnic groups, according to CDC data. Approximately 695,000 individuals in the US died from heart disease in 2021—1 in 5 deaths.1

Community pharmacists are vital members of the cardiovascular care team. Not only do pharmacists educate patients on prevention strategies, but they also provide crucial counseling points about the goals of therapy, adverse effects, and lifestyle changes.2

A survey of community pharmacists in the United Kingdom and Greece regarding their roles in cardiovascular disease prevention found that pharmacists are ready for a more proactive role. Respondents in the UK expressed a need for stronger guidelines, training, funding, and closer relationships with physicians to make this happen. Similarly, Greek pharmacists said they want their locations to be seen as primary health care prevention units, rather than solely as retail stores with some cardiovascular services on top of dispensing.2

In this issue, the Rx Focus article by Jeannette Y. Wick, MBA, RPh, FASCP, discusses the potential for couples-based counseling strategies to improve hypertension in married and committed couples. Additionally, the MTM Consult article by Jennifer Gershman, PharmD, CPH, PACS, discusses medication therapy management in heart health, and the OTC Case Studies review hypothetical scenarios related to smoking cessation.

In addition to cardiovascular content, the cover feature this month discusses a top-of-mind issue for many pharmacies: changes to direct and indirect remuneration fees in 2024. Author Benjamin Jolley, PharmD, reviews the changes and explains how pharmacies can best prepare for them.

Elsewhere, be sure to read the results of our annual Pharmacy Times 2023 Salary and Job Satisfaction Survey.

As always, thank you for reading.


  1. CDC. Heart disease facts. CDC. Reviewed May 15, 2023. Accessed January 24, 2024.
  2. Peletidi A, Nabhani-Gebara S, Kayyali R. The role of pharmacists in cardiovascular disease prevention: qualitative studies from the United Kingdom and Greece. J Res Pharm Pract. 2019;8(3):112-122. doi:10.4103/jrpp.JRPP_19_3
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