The PHARM-CHF randomized controlled trial was presented this week at Heart Failure 2019, a scientific conference, as reported by Pharmacy Times.

The Study

The PHARM-CHF trial reviewed data from 237 ambulatory patients with chronic heart failure aged 60 years and over who were randomly assigned to usual care or a pharmacy intervention, and follow-up for a median of 2 years. The average age was 74 years, 62% male and the median number of different medications was 9.

Method

The intervention started with a medication review. Patients brought their medications to a pharmacists who made a medication plan, checked for drug interactions and double medications, and contacted the physician about any risks. Patients then visited the pharmacy every 8 days to discuss adherence and symptoms, and have their blood pressure checked and pulse rate measurements collected. Drugs were provided in a pillbox with compartments for morning, noon, evening and night on each day. The pharmacist updated the medication plan if needed and contacted their physician with new drug-related problems or significant changes in vital signs.

Summary

Improvement in quality of life was more pronounced in the pharmacy group after 1 year and significantly better compared to the usual care group after 2 years. This meant patients in the pharmacy group were less limited in their daily activities and less worried about their disease.

Professor and co-principal investigator, Marin Schulz, Department of Clinical Pharmacy, Freie Universitaet Berlin, Germany said in a press release that “Adhering to a complex medication regimen is a huge challenge for elderly patients with heart failure” and continued IT is estimated that 30% to 50% of patients in Europe are nonadherent to heart failure medications which results in increased frequency and severity of symptoms such as breathlessness, worsening heart failure and consequent hospitalizations, and higher mortality.”

Source: Pharmacy Times

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