A Medication Synchronization Program and Blood Pressure Levels in a Community Pharmacy: Protocol

JMIR Res Protoc. 2019 Apr 1;8(4):e12527. doi: 10.2196/12527.


Background: The lack of adherence to prescribed antihypertensive medication occurs in 50% of patients and leads to poor health outcomes and increased medical costs. Consistent use of antihypertensive medications among patients with hypertension is essential to the reduction of short- and long-term cardiovascular complications. Strategies to improve medication adherence include syncing prescription medications in the pharmacy, which allow patients to retrieve chronically prescribed medications in one visit. The adoption of medication synchronization has been shown to improve adherence to medications; however, there is a lack of data showing if the intervention reduces blood pressure and improves long-term health outcomes.

Objective: This study aims to determine the association between participation in an appointment-based medication synchronization service and blood pressure levels among patients on antihypertensive medications.

Methods: This longitudinal prospective cohort study will observe changes in blood pressure among individuals in a medication synchronization program and those in a usual care group. Patients on at least two antihypertensive medications and four total medications have been recruited to participate in the study. All participants will be required to have at least a 6-month history of filling prescriptions at the pharmacy prior to enrollment in the study. Based on an estimated standard deviation of 14 mmHg, a sample size of 70 participants provides approximately 80% power with a two-sided .05 significance to detect a difference of 9 mmHg blood pressure between the two cohorts.

Results: As of the publication of this paper, patients are completing final blood pressure visits at the pharmacy and medication data are being collected from the pharmacy. Once patients complete all blood pressure visits, data analysis will begin.

Conclusions: This study will link medication synchronization and changes in blood pressure levels among individuals with hypertension. This study will provide preliminary data for a randomized clinical trial that will assess the impact of medication synchronization on blood pressure.

International registered report identifier (irrid): DERR1-10.2196/12527.

Keywords: hypertension; medication synchronization; pharmacy practice.