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Pharmacists are essential to improve cardiovascular health
Michelle Powell 331

Pharmacists are essential to improve cardiovascular health

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Today's Perspective

Kristin Wiisanen PharmD, FAPhA, FCCP, Pharmacy Today editor in chief

A growing body of literature supports the essential role of the pharmacist in CV risk reduction. A recent 2023 analysis published in JAMA Network Open found that pharmacist-led interventions could prevent 15 million heart attacks in America and save more than a trillion dollars for the health care system over 30 years.

The 2018 Los Angeles Barbershop Blood Pressure study found that pharmacist intervention led to an approximately 22 mm Hg decrease in systolic BP compared with control patients who did not receive pharmacist education.

What are pharmacists doing about these mounting data? This month’s Pharmacy Today cover story details how pharmacists can step up to meet these important needs. The biggest barrier continues to be reimbursement for pharmacists’ time. Even though pharmacists have prescriptive authority in all 50 U.S. states plus Washington, DC, there is still no standard reimbursement avenue for pharmacists to be paid for their clinical services. Innovative payment models for pharmacist are emerging, though, with pharmacists partnering with local clinicians, health systems, payers, and public health departments. As Janet Wright, MD, director of CDC’s Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention stated, “When included on health care teams, pharmacists support their patients with hypertension and help improve health outcomes.”

In this month’s issue, you’ll also find an update on new drugs, and overviews of self-care hair loss solutions and collagen supplementation. You’ll learn about CV benefits of semaglutide, updates to the American Diabetes Association standards of care for 2024, and get caught up with your CPE credit with this month’s article on gluten in medications.

In addition to recommendations, this month’s cover story provides CDC resources for pharmacist support. For example, CDC’s Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Best Practices Guide and Clearinghouse (https:// hdsbpc.cdc.gov) highlights pharmacist-centered strategies. The Pharmacists’ Patient Care Process to Manage High Blood Pressure (www.cdc.gov/dhdsp/pubs/docs/pharmacist-resource-guide.pdf) also provides essential guidance.

I encourage you to take a look at these resources to identify ways in which you can optimize CV outcomes for patients in your community!

Have a great Today!

 

 

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