Optimizing drug therapy in patients with cardiovascular disease: the impact of pharmacist-managed pharmacotherapy clinics in a primary care setting

Pharmacotherapy. 2002 Jun;22(6):738-47. doi: 10.1592/phco.22.9.738.34061.


We evaluated the effectiveness of pharmacist-managed pharmacotherapy clinics in implementing and maximizing therapy with agents known to reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with cardiovascular disease. This was a retrospective chart review of 150 patients who were treated for coronary artery disease in primary care clinics. Appropriate treatment of hypercholesterolemia occurred in 96% of patients referred to a clinical pharmacy specialist, compared with 68% of those followed by primary care providers alone (p<0.0001). Eighty-five percent and 50%, respectively, achieved goal low-density lipoprotein (LDL) values below 105 mg/dl (p<0.0001). Appropriate therapy with aspirin or other antiplatelet or anticoagulant drugs was prescribed in 97% and 92%, respectively (p=0.146). As appropriate therapy with these agents was high in both groups, the ability to detect a difference between groups was limited. Among patients with an ejection fraction below 40%, appropriate therapy with an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor or acceptable alternative was 89% and 69%, respectively (p<0.05). Twenty-seven cardiac events were documented in the clinical pharmacy group, versus 22 in the primary care group (p=0.475). Despite the relatively high percentage of patients reaching goal LDL in the primary care group, referral to clinical pharmacy specialists resulted in statistically significant increases in the number of patients appropriately treated for hypercholesterolemia and achieving goal LDL.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Aspirin / therapeutic use
  • Cardiovascular Agents / administration & dosage
  • Cardiovascular Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / physiopathology
  • Drug Therapy / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypercholesterolemia / drug therapy
  • Hypolipidemic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Lipoproteins, LDL / blood
  • Male
  • Outpatient Clinics, Hospital
  • Patient Compliance
  • Pharmacists*
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Cardiovascular Agents
  • Hypolipidemic Agents
  • Lipoproteins, LDL
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors
  • Aspirin