Pharmacist Involvement Improves Disease Management

Pharmacists help patients with type 2 diabetes manage hypertension

MONDAY, Jan. 24 (HealthDay News) -- When pharmacists are added to primary care teams, patients with type 2 diabetes achieve better blood pressure control, according to a study published in the January issue of Diabetes Care.

Scot H. Simpson, Pharm.D., from the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, and colleagues studied 260 patients with type 2 diabetes and hypertension to determine if including pharmacists in primary care teams had a positive effect on the management of hypertension in these patients. They compared 129 control subjects who received regular care with 131 patients who received intervention from pharmacists who provided medication assessments, limited history and physical examinations, and recommendations for optimal drug management.

The researchers found that 37 percent of the intervention patients achieved at least a 10 percent reduction in systolic blood pressure after one year compared with 23 percent of the control patients. Among patients with inadequately controlled blood pressure at baseline, 50 percent of the intervention patients achieved similar results compared with 28 percent in the control group. They also found that the predicted 10-year risk of cardiovascular disease decreased by 3 percent for intervention patients and 1 percent for control patients.

"Working in collaboration with the patient, primary care physician, and other health care professionals, pharmacists can have a significant, positive impact on blood pressure management in type 2 diabetes," the authors write.

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