PurposeA collaborative pharmacist-primary care provider (PharmD-PCP) team approach to medication-therapy management (MTM), with pharmacists initiating and changing medications at separate office visits, holds promise for the cost-effective management of hypertension, but has not been evaluated in many systematic trials. The primary objective of this study was to examine blood pressure (BP) control in hypertensive patients managed by a newly formed PharmD-PCP MTM team versus usual care in a university-based primary care clinic.
MethodsThis randomized, pragmatic clinical trial was conducted in hypertensive patients randomly selected for PharmD-PCP MTM or usual care. In the PharmD-PCP MTM group, pharmacists managed drug-therapy initiation and monitoring, medication adjustments, biometric assessments, laboratory tests, and patient education. In the usual-care group, patients continued to see their PCPs. Participants were aged ≥ 18 years, were diagnosed with hypertension, had a most recent BP measurement of ≥ 140/≥ 90 mm Hg (≥ 130/≥ 80 mm Hg if codiagnosed with diabetes mellitus), were on at least 1 antihypertensive medication, and were English speaking. The primary outcome was the difference in the mean change from baseline in systolic BP at 6 months. Secondary outcomes included the percentage achieving therapeutic BP goal and the mean changes from baseline in diastolic BP and low- and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol.
FindingsA total of 166 patients were enrolled (69 men; mean age, 67.7 years; PharmD-PCP MTM group, n = 75; usual-care group, n = 91). Mean reduction in SBP was significantly greater in the PharmD-PCP MTM group at 6 months (-7.1 [19.4] vs +1.6 [21.0] mm Hg; P = 0.008), but the difference was no longer statistically significant at 9 months (-5.2 [16.9] vs -1.7 [17.7] mm Hg; P = 0.22), based on an intent-to-treat analysis. In the intervention group, greater percentages of patients who continued to see the MTM pharmacist versus those who returned to their PCP were at goal at 6 months (81% vs 44%) and at 9 months (70% vs 52%). No significant between-group differences in changes in cholesterol were detected at 6 and 9 months; however, the mean baseline values were near recommended levels. The PharmD-PCP MTM group had significantly fewer PCP visits compared with the usual-care group (1.8 [1.5] vs 4.2 [1.0]; P < 0.001).
ImplicationsA PharmD-PCP collaborative MTM service was more effective in lowering BP than was usual care at 6 months in all patients and at 9 months in patients who continued to see the pharmacist. Incorporating pharmacists into the primary care team may be a successful strategy for managing medication therapy, improving patient outcomes and possibly extending the capacity of primary care. ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT01973556.