A Pharmaceutical Care Program to Improve Adherence to Statin Therapy: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Clinical Pharmacology, Utrecht Institute for Pharmaceutical Sciences, Utrecht, Netherlands.
Annals of Pharmacotherapy (Impact Factor: 2.92). 12/2010; 44(12):1905-13. DOI: 10.1345/aph.1P281
Source: OAI

ABSTRACT Despite the well-known beneficial effects of statins, many patients do not adhere to chronic medication regimens.
To implement and assess the effectiveness of a community pharmacy-based pharmaceutical care program developed to improve patients' adherence to statin therapy.
An open-label, prospective, randomized controlled trial was conducted at 26 community pharmacies in the Netherlands. New users of statins who were aged 18 years or older were randomly assigned to receive either usual care or a pharmacist intervention. The intervention consisted of 5 individual counseling sessions by a pharmacist during a 1-year period. During these sessions, patients received structured education about the importance of medication adherence, lipid levels were measured, and the association between adherence and lipid levels was discussed. Adherence to statin therapy was assessed as discontinuation rates 6 and 12 months after statin initiation, and as the medication possession ratio (MPR), and compared between the pharmaceutical care and usual care groups.
A total of 899 subjects (439 in the pharmaceutical care group and 460 in the usual care group) were evaluable for effectiveness analysis. The pharmaceutical care program resulted in a significantly lower rate of discontinuation within 6 months after initiating therapy versus usual care (HR 0.66, 95% CI 0.46 to 0.96). No significant difference between groups was found in discontinuation at 12 months (HR 0.84, 95% CI 0.65 to 1.10). Median MPR was very high (>99%) in both groups and did not differ between groups.
These results demonstrate the feasibility and effectiveness of a community pharmacy-based pharmaceutical care program to improve medication adherence in new users of statins. Frequent counseling sessions (every 3 months) are necessary to maintain the positive effects on discontinuation. Although improvements are modest, the program can be applied easily to a larger population and have a large impact, as the interventions are relatively inexpensive and easy to implement in clinical practice.

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    ABSTRACT: Objective to evaluate the relation between patient adherence and therapeutic effectiveness of hypolipidemic agents in clinical practice. Methods A retrospective cohort study of 417 patients using hypolipidemic drugs (simvastatin, atorvastatin) between 2003 and 2010 was performed. The population studied consists of patients assisted by the Public Health Service in the far-west region of the State of Santa Catarina, Brazil. The Medication Possession Ratio obtained from pharmacy refill data was used to measure patient adherence. Therapeutic effectiveness was evaluated based on the difference obtained in the serum levels of total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol and triglycerides, before and after taking the drug, in an average time of 8.3 months. Results Following the treatment with hypolipidemic agents, it has been observed a reduction of 14.3% for total cholesterol, 19.6% for LDL-cholesterol, and 14.4% for triglycerides. HDL-cholesterol increased by an 8.0% average. The major changes in lipid profile were promoted by atorvastatin 20 mg daily. The medication adherence rate decreased over the monitoring period. Adherence rates below 60% were associated with therapeutic failure, while rates equal to 80% or higher were associated with the best response to the lipid-lowering drugs. Conclusion Adherence to hypolipidemic agents is higher at the beginning of the treatment, but it decreases over time, affecting the achievement of therapeutic goals.
    Pharmacy Practice 04/2014; 12(2):378. DOI:10.4321/S1886-36552014000200002
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    ABSTRACT: Background Pharmacists' counseling has improved health-related outcomes in many acute and chronic conditions. Several studies have shown how pharmacists have been contributing to reduce morbidity and mortality related to drug-therapy (MMRDT). However, there still is a lack of reviews that assemble evidence-based clinical pharmacists' counseling. Equally, there is also a need to understand structure characteristics, processes and technical contents of these clinical services. Aim of the review To review the structure, processes and technical contents of pharmacist counseling or education reported in randomized controlled trials (RCT) that had positive health-related outcomes. Methods We performed a systematic search in specialized databases to identify RCT published between 1990 and 2013 that have evaluated pharmacists' counseling or educational interventions to patients. Methodological quality of the trials was assessed using the Jadad scale. Pharmacists' interventions with positive clinical outcomes (p < 0.05) were evaluated according to patients' characteristics, setting and timing of intervention, reported written and verbal counseling. Results 753 studies were found and 101 RCT matched inclusion criteria. Most of the included RCTs showed a Jadad score between two (37 studies) and three (32 studies). Pharmacists were more likely to provide counseling at ambulatories (60 %) and hospital discharge (25 %); on the other hand pharmacists intervention were less likely to happen when dispensing a medication. Teaching back and explanations about the drug therapy purposes and precautions related to its use were often reported in RCT, whereas few studies used reminder charts, diaries, group or electronic counseling. Most of studies reported the provision of a printed material (letter, leaflet or medication record card), regarding accessible contents and cultural-concerned informations about drug therapy and disease. Conclusion Pharmacist counseling is an intervention directed to patients' health-related needs that improve inter-professional and inter-institutional communication, by collaborating to integrate health services. In spite of reducing MMRDT, we found that pharmacists' counseling reported in RCT should be better explored and described in details, hence collaborating to improve medication-counseling practice among other countries and settings.
    International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy 07/2014; 36:882-891. DOI:10.1007/s11096-014-9982-1 · 1.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objective Patient-centered approaches to improving medication adherence hold promise, but evidence of their effectiveness is unclear. This review reports the current state of scientific research around interventions to improve medication management through four patient-centered domains: shared decision-making, methods to enhance effective prescribing, systems for eliciting and acting on patient feedback about medication use and treatment goals, and medication-taking behavior. Methods We reviewed literature on interventions that fell into these domains and were published between January 2007 and May 2013. Two reviewers abstracted information and categorized studies by intervention type. Results We identified 60 studies, of which 40% focused on patient education. Other intervention types included augmented pharmacy services, decision aids, shared decision-making, and clinical review of patient adherence. Medication adherence was an outcome in most (70%) of the studies, although 50% also examined patient-centered outcomes. Conclusions We identified a large number of medication management interventions that incorporated patient-centered care and improved patient outcomes. We were unable to determine whether these interventions are more effective than traditional medication adherence interventions. Practice Implications Additional research is needed to identify effective and feasible approaches to incorporate patient-centeredness into the medication management processes of the current health care system, if appropriate.
    Patient Education and Counseling 09/2014; 97(3). DOI:10.1016/j.pec.2014.08.021 · 2.60 Impact Factor

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