A Project to Promote Adherence to Blood Pressure Medication Among People Who Use Community Pharmacies in Rural Montana, 2014–2016
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A Project to Promote Adherence to Blood Pressure Medication Among People Who Use Community Pharmacies in Rural Montana, 2014–2016

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      Pharmacists can assist patients in managing their blood pressure levels. We assessed whether adherence to blood pressure medication improved among people who used community pharmacies in rural Montana after pharmacists initiated consultations and distributed educational materials developed for the Million Hearts Initiative’s “Team Up. Pressure Down.” (TUPD) program.


      From 2014 to 2016, the Cardiovascular Health Program at the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services conducted a statewide project to evaluate an intervention for adherence to blood pressure medication administered through community pharmacies. After the year 1 pilot, we redesigned the program for year 2 and year 3 and measured the percentage of participating patients who adhered to blood pressure medication. We also conducted a statewide survey to assess pharmacy characteristics, computer-system capabilities, and types of consulting services provided by pharmacists.


      Twenty-five community pharmacies completed Montana’s TUPD program: 8 pharmacies in the pilot year, 11 pharmacies in year 2, and 6 pharmacies in year 3. For year 2 and year 3 combined, the percentage of participating patients who achieved blood pressure medication adherence improved preintervention to postintervention from 73% to 89%, and adherence improved in 15 of the 17 pharmacies. The pilot pharmacies identified 3 major barriers to project success: patient buy-in, staff burden in implementing the project, and funding. In the statewide assessment, TUPD-funded pharmacies were significantly more likely than non-TUPD–funded pharmacies to provide prescription synchronization and medication management with feedback to the patient’s physician.


      Community pharmacies in rural areas can effectively use brief consultations and standard educational materials to improve adherence to blood pressure medication.

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