In an earlier post, I argued that a retail pharmacy was not a good setting for providing many of the new services – such as dispensing birth control pills and naloxone without a prescription or providing expanded services under collaborative practice agreements – that new legislation allows pharmacists to provide. An article recently published by my colleagues Dave Dixon and Evan Sisson demonstrates that in the proper setting, pharmacists can successfully provide such services. (Disclaimer: I am one of the authors of the article. I feel comfortable saying great things about the results of the study because my role was limited to evaluation. I was not one of the pharmacists who provided the services described in the article.)
Dave and Evan describe their work at the Center for High Blood Pressure (CHBP), an inner-city free clinic for uninsured patients in Richmond, VA. They report results from 172 patients who received continuous care at the clinic over a 4-year period. These patients were primarily African-American and uninsured. At the beginning of the study period, a majority were obese and nearly 40% were smokers. Their mean blood pressure at the start of the study was 156/98 and only 17% were at or lower than the goal BP of 140/90.