Studies show impact of doctor-pharmacist collaboration

November 16, 2010

According to the findings of the DECISIONS survey study published in a September/October supplement of Medical Decision Making, Americans frequently find themselves faced with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and depression medication decisions that they are ill prepared to make.

A collaborative effort between physicians and pharmacists appears to result in improved blood pressure (BP) control in hypertensive patients, and continued education in cessation counseling may help physicians, according to separate articles published October 11 in the Archives of Internal Medicine, HealthDay News reported.

Cynthia A. Weber, PharmD, of the University of Iowa, and colleagues randomized 179 patients with uncontrolled hypertension to receive pharmacist-physician collaborative management or usual care over 9 months. Researchers found 75% of the patients in the collaboration group achieved BP control, compared with 50.7% in the usual care group.

One author disclosed a financial arrangement with Takeda Pharmaceuticals.

In a separate study, Alexander V. Prokhorov, MD, PhD, of the University of Texas’ M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, and colleagues examined surveys from 87 physicians and 83 pharmacists to evaluate the effectiveness of continuing education training on cessation counseling. Researchers found a significant increase in the percentage of physicians and pharmacists in the intervention group (smoking cessation training), with greater perceived ability, confidence, and intention to address smoking issues post-training versus members of the control group (who underwent skin-cancer prevention training). Researchers concluded that training improved counseling among physicians.