No decrease for heart failure mortality rates after pharmacist visit, study says

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Consultations with pharmacists, in collaboration with physicians in community-based settings, did not lower mortality and hospitalization rates of heart failure patients, new research finds.

Investigators in Scotland designated 87 medical centers in which consulting pharmacists met with heart failure patients, in addition to physicians. In another 87 medical centers, only physicians met with heart failure patients.

Death rates and hospitalization rates in both sets of medical centers remained roughly the same after five years, according to researchers led by Richard Lowrie, M.Sc. However, investigators did find that pharmacy consults did boost the number of patients who received recommended heart failure medications at recommended doses.

“This could be an important intervention in health systems with a low number of patients receiving recommended heart failure drugs,” Lowrie said.

The findings were presented in Orlando Monday during the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions. The study was funded by Scotland's National Health Service.