Objective: The aim of this study is to describe recommendations made by clinical pharmacists when co-managing hypertension with physicians.
Setting: Two family medicine clinics at a major teaching hospital in the mid-western United States.
Method: This report details the specific recommendations made by pharmacists during a prospective randomized controlled clinical trial. Patients with uncontrolled hypertension were enrolled in a 9-month intensive pharmacist-physician co-management study. Clinical pharmacists saw patients at baseline, 2, 4, 6, and 8 month visits. Optional visits were allowed between required visits.
Main outcome measure: For this analysis, pharmacist recommendations were grouped. Physician acceptance of the pharmacists' recommendations was also evaluated.
Results: Data from 101 patients were included and analyzed in this study. Changes in drug therapy were recommended 267 times for these 101 patients. Most recommendations for a change in treatment involved adding a new antihypertensive medication (46.4%) or increasing a dose (33.3%). The majority of pharmacist recommendations to modify drug therapy were made at the baseline visit (41.6%), with 76.8% of recommendations made by the 2 month visit. Physicians accepted and implemented 95.9% of the 267 pharmacist recommendations to modify drug therapy. Pharmacists recommended no change in the treatment plan 361 times, most often because the patient's blood pressure (BP) had achieved the goal. Average BP decreased from 153.1+/-10.0/84.9+/-12.0 mmHg (average+/-SD) at baseline to 124.2+/-9.7/74.7+/-9.6 mmHg (P<0.001) at the end of 9 months, with 89.1% (P<0.001) of patients reaching their BP goal.
Conclusion: Pharmacist recommendations for alterations in drug therapy generally occurred early in the course of the study and were largely to intensify therapy through higher dosages or additional medications. Pharmacist-physician co-management of BP is effective at reducing BP and improving BP control rates.