Pharmacists treating hypertension patients could save US $1.1 trillion: Study

The U.S. healthcare industry could save more than $1.1 trillion and prevent about 15 million heart attacks over the next 30 years if pharmacists were more involved in hypertension care, according to research conducted by Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. 

Nearly 8 million strokes and more than 4 million cases each of angina and heart failure could also be avoided, VCU said in a news release

Most states allow pharmacists some prescribing powers, but reimbursement issues limit the uptake. If this barrier fell, the researchers found patients could also regain more than 30 million "quality-adjusted life years," or years with a significantly higher quality of life without medical emergencies from high blood pressure. 

Hypertension is the leading cause of preventable deaths and disabilities worldwide, according to the study, which was published Nov. 3 in JAMA. Patients are 12 times more likely to visit pharmacies than primary care physicians, VCU said, so this pharmacist-led intervention could improve healthcare access.

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