Underutilisation of ACE inhibitors in patients with congestive heart failure
ABSTRACT Congestive heart failure (CHF) is associated with substantial morbidity and mortality, and is the only major cardiovascular disease increasing in prevalence. Despite abundant evidence to support their efficacy and cost-effectiveness, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors are sub-optimally used in patients with CHF. This paper reviews the evidence for the sub-optimal use of ACE inhibitors in patients with CHF, the factors contributing to this, and its implications for health systems. A systematic review of all articles assessing practice patterns (specifically the use of ACE inhibitors in CHF) identified by MEDLINE, search of bibliographies, and contact with content experts was undertaken. 37 studies have documented the use of ACE inhibitors in patients with CHF. Studies assessing use among all patients with CHF document 33% to 67% (median 51%) of all patients discharged from hospital and 10% to 36% (median 26%) of community dwelling patients were prescribed ACE inhibitors. Rates of ACE inhibitor use range from 43% to 90% (median of 71%) amongst those discharged from hospital having known systolic dysfunction, and from 67% to 95% (median of 86%) for those monitored in specialty clinics. Moreover, the dosages used in the 'real world' are substantially lower than those proven efficacious in randomised, controlled trials, with evaluations reporting only a minority of patients achieving target doses and/or an overall mean dose achieved to be less than one-half of the target dose. Factors predicting the use and optimal dose administration of ACE inhibitors are identified, and include variables relating to the setting (previous hospitalisation, specialty clinic follow-up), the physician (cardiology specialty versus family practitioner or general internist, board certification), the patient (increased severity of symptoms, male, younger), and the drug (lower frequency of administration). In light of the substantial evidence for reductions in morbidity and mortality, clearly, the prescription of ACE inhibitors is sub-optimal. Wide variability in ACE inhibitor use is noted, with higher rates consistently reported among patients having systolic dysfunction confirmed by an objective assessment--an apparent minority of the those having CHF. Optimisation of the prescription of proven efficacious therapies has the potential to confer a substantial reduction in the total cost of care for patients with CHF by reducing hospitalisations and lengths of hospital stays. It is likely that only multifaceted programs targeted toward the population at large will yield benefits to the healthcare system, given the widespread nature of the sub-optimal prescription of therapies proven effective in the management of patients with CHF.
- SourceAvailable from: Terri Schindel
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- "optimal cardiovascular risk management in patients with diabetes (Brown 2004), underutilization of warfarin in patients with atrial fibrillation (CQIN 1998; Bungard 2000a, b, Lau 2004), poor achievement of target INR in patients receiving warfarin for atrial fibrillation (Bungard 2000a), underutilization of ACE inhibitors in patients with heart failure (CQIN 1996, Bungard 2001), and underutilization of patient education and inhaled corticosteroids in patients with asthma (Yuksel 2000). Pharmacists can address these and other care gaps related to drug therapy and disease management, and there is a significant body of evidence demonstrating this (see Appendix B for examples). "
ABSTRACT: In asking the question, how can pharmacists be fully engaged in patient oriented healthcare, FIP and IMS draw attention to the critical point our profession has reached with respect to contributing to patient care and evidence-based outcomes. In this submission, we have drawn from the change management and leadership disciplines to understand the complexity of achieving the vision of engaging pharmacists in patient oriented healthcare. We outline eight critical steps, offered by John Kotter, a leading expert in organizational change, in achieving practice change in pharmacy. The work required to achieve the vision of pharmacists working in patient oriented healthcare represents a transformational change in the evolution of the profession. We have not created a new pharmacy practice model. Instead, we tell the story of our experiences with patients, in our role as educators, pharmacy practice researchers and practitioners, and our discussions with pharmacy leaders, policy makers, industry partners, and other pharmacy practice researchers to illustrate the complexity of practice change and the leadership required for this next step in the evolution of our profession. At the conclusion of this submission, we offer 10 strategies to follow in leading the change to patient oriented practice. Patient oriented healthcare means keeping the patient at the centre of these changes. While it is tempting to frame all of these changes in terms of pharmacists and pharmacy practice – it’s not about us, it’s about the patients and what we can do for them.International Pharmaceutical Federation, Cairo; 09/2005
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ABSTRACT: To (1) determine the prevalence of heart failure (HF) and cardiovascular risk factors within a hypertensive managed care population, (2) measure blood pressure goal attainment in patients with concurrent HF and hypertension (HTN), and (3) assess the use of drug therapy for diabetic and nondiabetic patients with concurrent HF and HTN, particularly regarding the use of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs). Eligible patients were identified through a review of medical and pharmacy claims data from 10 managed care organizations (MCOs) and 2 specialty medical groups (4.6 million total members) from June 1998 through July 2001. From approximately 850,000 members in the claims database identified as hypertensive, 7,226 were randomly selected for medical chart review. Of these, 6,935 medical charts had a confirmed diagnosis of HTN but not HF, and 291 (4%) had confirmed HTN and HF. The study population--291 patients with HTN and HF--provided information on demographic characteristics, prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors and relevant comorbidities, and systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Current antihypertensive therapy prescription fill rate was evaluated using pharmacy claims. Patients with diagnoses of HTN and HF confirmed in the medical chart (N=291) were included in the present analysis. HF prevalence among hypertensive patients was 4% (291 of 7,226). Mean age of the study patients was 68.3 years, and 52.9% of the patients were female. Key cardiovascular risk factors included gender (men and postmenopausal women) (89.3%), age > 60 years (73.5%), hyperlipidemia (47.4%), and diabetes (38.8%). Of the total sample, only 30.1% of the diabetic (34 of 113) and 26.4% of the nondiabetic (47 of 178) patients with HF had their blood pressure controlled to the goal level of < 130/85 mm Hg recommended by the Sixth Report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure, the national guideline in effect at the time. Overall, 64.7% of HF patients for whom we had pharmacy claims were receiving an ACE inhibitor or an ARB. The study results indicate a deficit in the treatment of HTN among HF patients with and without diabetes, including failure to achieve blood pressure goals (< 130/85 mm Hg at the time of this study period). More aggressive quality improvement programs are necessary to educate providers and patients on the importance of treating blood pressure to nationally accepted goal using antihypertensives proven beneficial for hypertensive patients with HF.Journal of managed care pharmacy: JMCP 10(6):513-20. · 2.68 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: To determine severe sepsis (SS) incidence, hospital mortality, 1-year mortality, and costs associated with care in a sample of enrollees in a nationally representative individual practice association (IPA)-network managed care organization (MCO). This was a retrospective analysis of administrative claims data for commercial (not managed Medicare) members. We identified MCO members hospitalized for SS between July 1995 and December 1998. SS cases were identified by a combination of ICD-9-CM codes for infection and organ dysfunction. Enrollment information, physician, facility, and pharmacy claims were analyzed. Subjects with continuous enrollment were followed for 1 full year of observation. Costs were health plan payments to providers, after subtraction of member cost-share amounts. The incidence rate was 0.91 cases of SS per 1,000 enrollees, increasing with age. The mean age of SS patients was 50 years, and 53% were male. Approximately 63% received surgical intervention. Mortality was 21% during the first hospitalization and 36.1% at 1 year. During follow-up, 47.1% of survivors were rehospitalized. Mean index hospitalization length of stay and costs were 16 days and 26,820 dollars, with 1-year inpatient and outpatient costs totaling 48,996 dollars. Mean outpatient costs per survivor were 8,363 dollars, and mean per-patient-per-month (PPPM) outpatient costs were 906 dollars. Total follow-up costs including rehospitalization were similar for nonsurvivors compared with survivors (7,710 dollars versus 8,522 dollars, P=0.274), but PPPM costs were higher for nonsurvivors (1,760 dollars versus 699 dollars, P<0.001). Incidence, hospital, and 1-year mortality rates were lower in this population compared with literature reports and were associated with a lower average age in this managed care population. Mean SS hospitalization costs were high, and nearly one half of survivors required rehospitalization within 1 year. Study results suggest the need to evaluate SS interventions for improvement in health outcomes and cost outcomes, particularly in postsurgical patients.Journal of managed care pharmacy: JMCP 11/2004; 10(6):521-30. · 2.68 Impact Factor