August 2015—A Canadian-led study looking at the positive impact of pharmacist prescribing in patients with hypertension has been published in Circulation, a prestigious journal produced by the American Heart Association.
“This is the first randomized trial of pharmacist prescribing and it validates that when pharmacists’ scope of practice is expanded, patient outcomes are better,” says the study’s lead investigator and pharmacist Ross Tsuyuki, director of the EPICORE Centre at the University of Alberta.
Funded in part by the Canadian Foundation for Pharmacy, the Alberta Clinical Trial in Optimizing Hypertension (RxACTION) studied 248 patients with high blood pressure (BP) in 23 communities across Albert. Those enrolled in the six-month pharmacist intervention group experienced a reduction in BP by 6.6/3.2 mmHG more than usual pharmacist and physician care. These patients were also 2.3 times more likely to reach the recommended BP targets.
Tsuyuki says the study provides some “high-level” evidence to policymakers who are serious about tackling the burden of hypertension. “We are also excited about the public health implications,” he says. “[Policymakers] could have 40,000 [pharmacist] allies in the fight against the number one cause of premature mortality and morbidity worldwide,” he says.
A sub-study on the different forms of pharmacist remuneration, that was also funded in part by CFP, will be published separately within the year.