Economic Evidence Supports Pharmacy-Based Interventions for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention

A pharmacist discusses medication with a patient.The Community Preventive Services Task Force (CPSTF) finds tailored pharmacy-based interventions to increase medication adherence are cost-effective for cardiovascular disease prevention. A systematic review of 38 studies published through May 2019 reported a median estimate of $11,298 per quality adjusted life year (QALY) saved, which is below a conservative threshold of $50,000 used to determine cost-effectiveness.

The systematic review did not find any studies that assessed the cost-effectiveness of these interventions for cardiovascular disease management. Evidence did show, however, that the averted healthcare cost for people with cardiovascular disease exceeded the implementation cost. From a healthcare system perspective, this may produce a favorable return on investment.

The CPSTF recommended tailored pharmacy-based adherence interventions for cardiovascular disease prevention in July 2019. CDC’s Division of Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention has since developed an implementation resource to help communities and health systems implement tailored pharmacy-based interventions to improve medication adherence for cardiovascular disease prevention.

What are tailored pharmacy-based interventions?

Tailored pharmacy-based interventions aim to help patients take their medications as prescribed. Patient interviews or assessments tools are used to identify adherence barriers, and pharmacists use the results to develop and deliver guidance and services intended to reduce patients’ barriers.

Facts about Cardiovascular Disease and Medication Adherence

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women – causing one in every four American deaths. Cardiovascular disease costs the United States about $200 billion each year, including costs of health care services, medications and lost productivity. Patients who do not take their blood pressure medications as prescribed greatly increase their risk of developing problems from cardiovascular disease.

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