Physician–pharmacist collaborative practice and telehealth may transform hypertension management

Abstract

Community pharmacists play a crucial role in hypertension management and their intervention, mainly including education, medication monitoring, and reviewing, blood pressure (BP) measurement and cardiovascular risk factors tracking, have proved to enhance BP control and adherence to antihypertensive treatment. A multidisciplinary collaborative approach with the referring physician and a patient-centered model of care have been proved to be particularly effective for improving control of hypertension and promoting patients’ health. The inclusion of telehealth in such model (the so-called telepharmacy) may expand the reach of the pharmacist’s intervention and provide pharmacy operations and patient care at a distance with further benefits for hypertensive patients and their managing physicians. Very few randomized controlled studies have evaluated the clinical efficacy of the implementation of telepharmacy services in the management of hypertension, with the strongest evidence limited to physician–pharmacist collaborative interventions based on home BP telemonitoring plus patient education on lifestyle, drug therapy, and cardiovascular risk factors control. The results of these trials documented a benefit of telehealth mainly in terms of improvement of BP control consequent to antihypertensive medication intensification and optimization. Although promising, these results need to be corroborated through larger, prospective, and long-term studies, which should also evaluate additional long-term benefits of telepharmacy services in hypertension management.

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SO devised the original idea of the work, made the search of the literature, and wrote the manuscript. MT and CC critically revised the manuscript. All authors met the ICMJE criteria for authorship for this manuscript, take responsibility for the integrity of the work as a whole, and have given final approval to the version to be published.

Correspondence to Stefano Omboni.

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SO is scientific consultant of Biotechmed Ltd, provider of telemedicine services. The remaining authors declare no conflicts of interest regarding the publication of this paper.

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