Focus on hypertension
The opportunity for community pharmacy teams to step in and support people with hypertension is huge, especially as drug adherence is so poor, said Liam Stapleton, pharmacist and managing director of Metaphor Development.
Speaking in an educational session supported by Omron, Mr Stapleton told delegates that badly managed blood pressure and a lack of drug adherence – which stands at 50-80 per cent of patients – means that hypertension can have a serious negative impact on people’s quality of life, especially as it is linked to so many serious health conditions such as stroke and heart disease.
But something as simple as a series of lifestyle interventions has the potential to reduce the need for medication and get blood pressure under control. This can include exercise, eating a healthy balanced diet, reducing BMI, stopping smoking and drinking less alcohol. Mr Stapleton highlighted the need for pharmacy teams to identify patients who could benefit from implementing these lifestyle changes, as well as checking patients are taking their medicines correctly and teaching people who do home monitoring how to do it properly. “When hypertension is monitored well, it can be managed better,” he said.