HealthDay News — Patients with poorly controlled cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors could improve their prognosis by having pharmacists help manage their care, according to a study published in the June 21 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Pharmacists at 56 pharmacy-based clinics recruited 723 patients at high risk for CVD events, who were randomly assigned to the intervention or usual care. Half of the study participants received medication therapy management in tandem with a pharmacist and half received usual care.

After 3 months, participants who received intensive services to help them meet treatment targets had a 21% lower risk of future CVD events when compared with those who received usual care. Those receiving pharmacists’ care lowered their estimated future risk of CVD by more than 5% from the beginning of the study to its conclusion three months later. There was little change in risk for those receiving usual care.

Specifically, for participants with hypertension, 28% of the control group reached the recommended target, versus 51% of the pharmacist-care group. Of patients with diabetes, 25% of the control group achieved glycated hemoglobin goals, compared with 42% of patients receiving pharmacist care. And significantly more patients receiving pharmacist care reached the target for low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, than those in the control group (56 versus 46%). The pharmacist-care group also had a 20% greater reduction in smoking compared to the control group.

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