The Role of the Clinical Pharmacist in a Preventive Cardiology Practice

Bruce A. Warden, Michael D. Shapiro, Sergio Fazio

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    19 Scopus citations


    Background: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains the leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. In response, a multidisciplinary team approach, which includes clinical pharmacists, is recommended to improve patient outcomes. The purpose of the study was to describe interventions associated with integration of a clinical pharmacist, with an emphasis on pharmacist-generated patient cost avoidance. Methods: This is a prospective observational study detailing pharmacist-initiated interventions within an academic preventive cardiology service. Interventions targeting pharmacotherapy optimization, side effect management, patient education, medication adherence, and cost avoidance were implemented during shared office visits with providers and/or on provider consultation for remote follow-up. Tabulation of cost avoidance was arranged into 2 formats: clinical interventions implemented by the pharmacist and direct patient out-of-pocket expense reduction. Money saved per clinical intervention was extrapolated from data previously published. Patient out-of-pocket expense prior to and after pharmacist involvement was calculated to assess aggregate yearly patient cost savings. Results: Over 12 months the pharmacist intervened on 974 patients, totaling 3725 interventions. Cost avoidance strategies resulted in yearly savings of $830 748 in aggregate—$149 566 from clinical interventions and $681 182 from patient out-of-pocket expense reduction. Monthly patient out-of-pocket expense was reduced from a median (interquartile range) of $217 ($83.5-$347) before to $5 ($0-$18) after pharmacist intervention. Conclusions: Addition of a clinical pharmacist within an academic preventive cardiology clinic generated substantial pharmacotherapy interventions, resulting in significant cost avoidance for patients. The resulting cost avoidance may result in improved medication adherence and clinical outcomes.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)1214-1219
    Number of pages6
    JournalAnnals of Pharmacotherapy
    Issue number12
    StatePublished - Dec 1 2019


    • cardiovascular disease
    • cost avoidance
    • pharmacist
    • preventive cardiology

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Pharmacology (medical)


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