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Published: March 15, 2016

The effects of a pharmacist-led medication management program for patients on highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART)

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Curant Health President and CEO, Patrick Dunham, and Curant Health pharmacist, Jeffrey Karkula, RPh, BS Pharm, recently conducted a study to identify the benefits of a comprehensive pharmacy care program and to increase adherence for patients taking highly active antiretroviral therapy or (HAART) and assess the effect on the patient’s overall health outcome.

There are several key points to evaluate when considering pharmacy care programs as a component of HIV therapy:

  • Availability of pharmacy services to the patient
  • Medication management strategies that address underlying causes of non-adherence
  • Patient education options
  • Convenient reminder packaging

Keeping in mind known adherence obstacles, like patient daily activity, lack of patient medication education and possible lack of a support system, Dunham and Karkula designed a study to measure the impact of a comprehensive pharmacy care program in pushing beyond adherence barriers.

The study found that the comprehensive pharmacy care program under review led to proven increases in medication adherence and improved patient outcomes.

All about HAART

  • Study Design: A retrospective analysis was conducted comparing baseline medication adherence, cluster of differentiation 4 (CD4) cell counts and viral load in antiretroviral-experienced HIV patients to the same values after six months of specialized pharmacy care.
  • Methods: There were 64 patients; all participants received education, assessment, clinical support, HIV therapy review, refill reminders and custom medication packaging.
  • Results: After six months of pharmacy care, mean medication adherence increased 28% and mean CD4 cell count increased 38%. The number of patients achieving greater than 95% adherence increased 69%.
  • Conclusions: A comprehensive pharmacy care program demonstrated substantial and sustained improvement in medication adherence, CD4 cell counts, and viral load among HIV patients receiving HAART. Furthermore, the improved outcomes resulted in overall healthcare cost savings of about $3,000 per member per year. It’s evident from this study that the role of the pharmacist is critical in promoting medication adherence for the reduction of healthcare costs and the prevention of chronic disease progression.

Click here to read the full study: Effects of a Pharmacy-Care Program on Adherence and Outcomes

Interested in learning more about this study or our medication management services? Email us so we can talk.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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