Medication Reviews Can Keep Hospitalization Rates Down

Australian veterans with heart failure benefit from physician/pharmacist collaborations

TUESDAY, Aug. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Collaborative medicine reviews for patients treated with heart failure medicines are effective in delaying the time to next hospitalization for heart failure, according to a study published online Aug. 19 in Circulation: Heart Failure.

Elizabeth E. Roughead, Ph.D., of the University of South Australia in Adelaide, and colleagues used administrative claims data to study veterans in Australia aged 65 years and older taking bisoprolol, carvedilol or metoprolol succinate for heart failure. There were 273 patients exposed to home medicine reviews (consisting of a physician referral, a home visit by a pharmacist, and a pharmacist report with follow-up by the physician) and 5,444 unexposed patients.

The researchers found that the median number of comorbidities was eight in the exposed group and seven in the unexposed group. Adjusted results showed a 45 percent reduction in the rate of hospitalization for heart failure at any time (hazard ratio, 0.55) in patients who had received the home medicine review versus those who had not. They found that 5.5 percent of the exposed group and 12 percent of the unexposed group were hospitalized within one year.

"If the findings of this study are replicated in other patient groups who are at high risk of medication misadventure and consequent re-hospitalization, there will be an even stronger case to require pharmacists to be involved in this extension of their role in collaboration with physicians," the authors conclude.

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