COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving situation. When working in different community settings, follow CDC guidance External Web Site Icon to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Visit www.cdc.gov/coronavirus External Web Site Icon for the latest public health information.

Cardiovascular Disease: Tailored Pharmacy-based Interventions to Improve Medication Adherence

Tabs

What the CPSTF Found

About The Systematic Review

The CPSTF finding is based on evidence from a systematic review of 48 studies (search period through August 2018).

The systematic review was conducted on behalf of the CPSTF by a team of specialists in systematic review methods, and in research, practice, and policy related to cardiovascular disease prevention.

Summary of Results

Detailed results from the systematic review are available in the CPSTF Finding and Rationale Statement.

The systematic review included 48 studies that measured intervention effects on medication adherence.

Medication Adherence

The systematic review team converted outcomes from 27 studies into adherent or non-adherent, based on whether patients possessed, took, or refilled their cardiovascular disease prevention medications at least 80% of the time.

  • The proportion of patients considered adherent increased by a median of 6.9 percentage points (an increase of ≈ 9.9%)

The remaining 21 studies used various tools to measure adherence (e.g., objective provider counts or records, self-report) and reported generally favorable results.

Cardiovascular Disease Risk Conditions

A subset of 17 studies evaluated intervention effects on blood pressure control and lipid control.

  • There was a median increase of 13.9 percentage points in the proportion of patients who achieved blood pressure control (13 studies)
    • This represents a relative increase of ≈ 35.3% (12 studies)
  • Results were mixed for LDL (3 studies) and cholesterol (1 study).

Summary of Economic Evidence

Detailed results from the systematic review are available in the CPSTF Finding and Rationale Statement.

A systematic review of economic evidence shows tailored pharmacy-based adherence interventions are cost-effective for cardiovascular disease prevention. For patients with existing cardiovascular disease, the evidence shows averted healthcare cost exceeds the cost of intervention for a favorable return on investment (ROI) from a healthcare system perspective.

The systematic review included 38 studies (search period through May 2019). The studies evaluated interventions to prevent (29 studies) or manage existing (9 studies) cardiovascular disease. Monetary values are reported in 2018 U.S. dollars.

Intervention Cost

  • The median cost per patient per year for interventions to prevent cardiovascular disease was $246 (19 studies).
  • The median cost per patient per year for interventions to manage cardiovascular disease was $292 (6 studies).

Healthcare Cost

  • The median change in healthcare cost per patient per year for interventions to prevent cardiovascular disease was -$355 (25 studies).
  • The median change in healthcare cost per patient per year for interventions to manage cardiovascular disease was -$1784 (8 studies).

Total Cost

Total cost is measured as the sum of the change in healthcare cost due to intervention and the cost of intervention. A negative value indicates averted healthcare cost exceeds intervention cost.

  • The median total cost per patient per year for interventions to prevent cardiovascular disease was -$49 (21 studies). The total cost estimates for cardiovascular disease prevention were inconsistent, with about half of the studies reporting positive total cost and half reporting negative total cost.
  • The median total cost per patient per year for interventions to manage cardiovascular disease was -$1080 (7 studies). In all but one of the studies, the reduced healthcare cost exceeded the cost of intervention indicating net cost savings when implemented for patients with existing cardiovascular disease.

Cost-effectiveness

  • The median cost per quality adjusted life year (QALY) saved for interventions to prevent cardiovascular disease was $11,298, which is below a conservative $50,000 threshold (5 studies).
  • No studies reported cost-effectiveness outcomes for interventions to manage cardiovascular disease.

Applicability

Based on results from the review, the finding should be applicable to patients with cardiovascular disease risk factors who receive medications from community or health system pharmacies.

Evidence Gaps

The CPSTF identified several areas that have limited information. Additional research and evaluation could help answer the following questions and fill remaining gaps in the evidence base. (What are evidence gaps?)

  • How does intervention effectiveness vary with different intervention components? Are interventions more effective when tailored options include system-level approaches, such as refill synchronization or blister packaging?
  • Within a tailored approach, are some adherence barriers commonly addressed by specific intervention options? Does evidence indicate that some adherence barriers can be removed with a specific component, allowing for some standardization in tailored interventions?
  • How effective are tailored interventions when targeted to specific patients at risk for adherence barriers, such as patients with low income or low health-literacy?
  • How effective are tailored interventions when implemented in pharmacies that serve minority and low-income communities?
  • How effective are tailored interventions that engage community health workers and pharmacy technicians in appropriate assessment, coaching, or follow-up roles?
  • Are these interventions cost-effective for patients with existing cardiovascular disease?
  • What are the economic outcomes when interventions are implemented in rural areas?
  • What are the clinical outcomes associated with reductions in healthcare costs and increases in quality adjusted life years? Economic evaluations will be more helpful if they include patient health outcomes (e.g., blood pressure, cholesterol) in their reports.
  • Which components of healthcare use lead to the greatest changes in healthcare cost following implementation?

Study Characteristics

  • Included studies were conducted in the United States (23 studies), Europe (12 studies), Canada (5 studies), Hong Kong (4 studies), and Australia (4 studies).
  • Studies were implemented in community pharmacies (27 studies), health system pharmacies (14 studies), or a combination of both (5 studies). Across all studies, the median age for patients was 61.6 years (43 studies), and 52.1% were female (46 studies).
  • Of the 48 included studies, 26 were randomized controlled trials, seven were other design with concurrent comparison, one was before and after with comparison, six used a retrospective cohort, and eight were before and after without a comparison.