A systematic review of the clinical and economic effectiveness of clinical pharmacist intervention in secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease

J Manag Care Pharm. 2013 Jun;19(5):408-16. doi: 10.18553/jmcp.2013.19.5.408.


Background: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is considered to be the main cause of death and one of the most common diseases affecting health care systems worldwide. Many methods have been used to improve CVD outcomes, one of which is to involve clinical pharmacists in the direct care of patients with CVD.

Objective: To perform a systematic review assessing the effectiveness of clinical pharmacist interventions within a multidisciplinary team in the secondary prevention of CVD, using studies conducted on patients with heart failure, coronary heart disease, or those with CVD risk factors.

Methods: Extensive searches of 13 databases were performed--with no time limitation--to identify randomized controlled trials (RCT) in English that evaluated clinical pharmacist intervention in patients with CVD or with CVD risk factors. Two independent reviewers evaluated 203 citations that were the result of this search. Studies were included if they reported direct care from a clinical pharmacist in CVD or CVD-related therapeutic areas such as disease-led management or in collaboration with other health care workers; if they were RCTs; if they were inpatients, outpatients, or in the community setting; and if they included the following outcomes: CVD control or mortality, CVD risk factor control, patient-related outcomes (knowledge, adherence, or quality of life), and cost related to health care systems.

Results: A total of 59 studies were identified: 45 RCT, 6 non-RCT, and 8 economic studies. 68% of the outcomes reported showed that clinical pharmacy services were associated with better improvement in patients' outcomes compared with the control group.

Conclusion: The involvement of a pharmacist demonstrated an ability to improve CVD outcomes through providing educational intervention, medicine management intervention, or a combination of both. These interventions resulted in improved CVD risk factors, improved patient outcomes, and reduced number of drug-related problems with a direct effect on CVD control. These improvements may lead to an improvement in patient quality of life, better use of health care resources, and a reduced rate of mortality.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular Diseases / economics
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / mortality
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Patient Care Team / organization & administration
  • Pharmacists / economics
  • Pharmacists / organization & administration*
  • Pharmacy Service, Hospital / economics
  • Pharmacy Service, Hospital / organization & administration*
  • Professional Role
  • Quality of Life
  • Risk Factors
  • Secondary Prevention / economics
  • Secondary Prevention / methods