The Asheville Project: clinical and economic outcomes of a community-based long-term medication therapy management program for hypertension and dyslipidemia

J Am Pharm Assoc (2003). 2008 Jan-Feb;48(1):23-31. doi: 10.1331/JAPhA.2008.07140.


Objective: Assess clinical and economic outcomes of a community-based, long-term medication therapy management (MTM) program for hypertension (HTN)/dyslipidemia.

Design: Quasi-experimental, longitudinal, pre-post study.

Setting: 12 community and hospital pharmacy clinics in Asheville, N.C., over a 6-year period from 2000 through 2005.

Participants: Patients covered by two self-insured health plans; educators at Mission Hospitals; 18 certificate-trained pharmacists.

Interventions: Cardiovascular or cerebrovascular (collectively abbreviated as CV) risk reduction education; regular, long-term follow-up by pharmacists (reimbursed by health plans) using scheduled consultations, monitoring, and recommendations to physicians.

Main outcome measures: Clinical and economic parameters.

Results: Sufficient data were available for 620 patients in the financial cohort and 565 patients in clinical cohort. Several indicators of cardiovascular health improved over the course of the study: mean systolic blood pressure, from 137.3 to 126.3 mm Hg; mean diastolic blood pressure, from 82.6 to 77.8 mm Hg; percentage of patients at blood pressure goal, from 40.2% to 67.4%; mean low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, from 127.2 to 108.3 mg/dL; percentage of patients at LDL cholesterol goal, from 49.9% to 74.6%; mean total cholesterol, from 211.4 to 184.3 mg/dL; and mean serum triglycerides, from 192.8 to 154.4 mg/dL. Mean high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol decreased from 48 to 46.6 mg/dL. The CV event rate during the historical period, 77 per 1,000 person-years, declined by almost one-half (38 per 1,000 person-years) during the study period. Mean cost per CV event in the study period was $9,931, compared with $14,343 during the historical period. During the study period, CV medication use increased nearly threefold, but CV-related medical costs decreased by 46.5%. CV-related medical costs decreased from 30.6% of total health care costs to 19%. A 53% decrease in risk of a CV event and greater than 50% decrease in risk of a CV-related emergency department (ED)/hospital visit were also observed.

Conclusion: Patients with HTN and/or dyslipidemia receiving education and long-term MTM services achieved significant clinical improvements that were sustained for as long as 6 years, a significant increase in the use of CV medications, and a decrease in CV events and related medical costs.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / etiology
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / prevention & control
  • Cohort Studies
  • Community Pharmacy Services / organization & administration*
  • Dyslipidemias / complications
  • Dyslipidemias / drug therapy*
  • Dyslipidemias / economics
  • Female
  • Health Care Costs*
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / complications
  • Hypertension / drug therapy*
  • Hypertension / economics
  • Lipids / blood
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Medication Therapy Management*
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Pharmacists
  • Professional Role
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Lipids