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Teamwork Unlikely to Improve Cholesterol Levels

Doctor/pharmacist collaboration made little difference in patient health, study found

MONDAY, March 8 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with high cholesterol, joint physician-pharmacist care to help them manage their lipid levels doesn't have a significant impact, a new study finds.

Canadian researchers looked at partnerships where doctors were responsible for prescribing cholesterol-lowering medications and pharmacists provided counseling, requested laboratory tests, monitored the safety and effectiveness of the treatment and adjusted medication as needed. But there was no evidence that this method of patient care had a significant clinical impact on lipid control, the study found.

"In a primary care collaborative model, where community pharmacists are responsible for providing counseling on lifestyle changes and adjusting lipid-lowering medication, patients had more health-professional visits, more laboratory tests and were more likely to have their lipid-lowering treatment modified and report making lifestyle changes," wrote the researchers. "However, this did not translate into significant clinical impact on lipid control."

The study is published online March 8 in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

The researchers suggested that future studies should examine the long-term benefits of this type of collaborative care in patients at high risk for coronary heart disease.

More information

The American Heart Association has more about cholesterol.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: Canadian Medical Association Journal, news release, March 8, 2010

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