Feasibility of Community Pharmacists Identifying and Monitoring Pregnant Women with High Blood Pressure Treated With Medication.
Drs. Marra and Lynd, in collaboration with Drs. von Dadelszen and McGee, world leaders in the diagnosis and management of high blood pressure in pregnancy, are investigating the feasibility of using community-based pharmacists to identify and monitor pregnant women on treatments for high blood pressure.
High blood pressure is the most common medical condition in pregnancy and the outcomes and side effects of the medications used to treat it in pregnant women are poorly understood. Thus, there is an outstanding need for active surveillance among pregnant women using antihypertensives outside of the clinical trial setting
Community pharmacists are highly accessible health care practitioners - patients have direct contact with their community pharmacist five to eight times more frequently than they do with their family physician. This puts the pharmacist in an ideal position to be involved in the active surveillance of safety and effectiveness of prescription and nonprescription drug use in the real-world.
CORE is increasingly involved in enhancing pharmaco-surveillance and is using an established network of community pharmacies in both urban and rural health regions of BC, to develop and evaluate innovative, multidisciplinary strategies to address shortcomings in medication management of chronic disease.
This study involves community pharmacists recruiting eligible pregnant women within their pharmacies either through posters located throughout the store or through the course of usual care. Pharmacists will then review the patients' medication histories and take their blood pressures. Those on anti-hypertensive medication or are hypertensive will be followed on a monthly basis and assessed for both outcomes and adverse events.
This model, which focuses on hypertension specifically, could be extended to monitor the safety and effectiveness of the treatments for other disorders in pregnant women in the future, enhancing this study's breadth and expected impact.