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Chronically ill patients do well when pharmacists manage their care

Patients with chronic illnesses do well when pharmacists manage their care, according to a review published in Annals of Internal Medicine. Integrating pharmacists in patient care could increase access to health care and improve outcomes for underserved populations.

Recently introduced legislation would establish pharmacists as health care providers and enable coverage of pharmacists’ services through Medicare Part B in medically underserved communities. To determine the effectiveness and harms of pharmacist-led chronic disease, researchers reviewed 63 published studies involving 65 patient populations. All of the studies compared outcomes of pharmacist-led chronic disease management with usual care for community-dwelling adults in the United States.

The data suggest that patients receiving pharmacist-led care were more likely to achieve target goals for blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood glucose compared with patients receiving usual care. Pharmacist-led care also increased the number of dosage of medications being received, but whether or not that was an indicator of better care quality was not clear. Patients in both groups used similar amounts of health care resources. The researchers suggest further research to determine patient outcomes under pharmacist-led care.

Article: Pharmacist-led Chronic Disease Management: A Systematic Review of Effectiveness and Harms Compared With Usual Care, Nancy Greer, PhD; Jennifer Bolduc, PharmD; Eric Geurkink, PharmD; Thomas Rector, PhD, PharmD; Kimberly Olson, MD; Eva Koeller, BA; Roderick MacDonald, MS; and Timothy J. Wilt, MD, MPH, Annals of Internal Medicine, doi:10.7326/M15-3058, published online 26 April 2016.