The opportunity for community pharmacy 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, at this year’s Pharmacy Show.
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. Mr Stapleton referred to “a handy mnemonic” that pharmacy teams can work through with patients to cover all the important points. His Bed’s Bad mnemonic, linked to the idea that inactivity can have detrimental health effects, stands for:
Mr Stapleton highlighted the need to identify patients within the pharmacy who could benefit from implementing these lifestyle changes, linking it into healthy living pharmacy, if appropriate, as well as teaching people who do home monitoring how to do it properly. “When hypertension is monitored well, it can be managed better,” he said.