UB Program Provides Patients With Hypertension Closer, More Frequent Monitoring

Release Date: September 20, 1995 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Buffalo area residents who are being treated for hypertension now have an opportunity to get personalized counseling and monitoring every time they go to three local pharmacies.

The pharmacies are participating this fall in a University at Buffalo program designed to monitor and improve how well patients comply with medication regimens prescribed by their doctors, as well as lifestyle recommendations.

Patient compliance includes refilling prescriptions on time, taking medication in the proper dose at the proper time and conforming to the physician's recommendations about smoking, diet and exercise.

Recent estimates put the number of Americans diagnosed with hypertension at about 60 million, about 50 percent of whom stop taking medication during the first 12 months of therapy, said Rosemary Madejski, clinical assistant professor of pharmacy practice at UB and director of the hypertension monitoring program.

"The goal is to help patients better understand their hypertension and instruct them as to why compliance with their medication regimen is so important," said Madejski. "We want to see if counseling and other clinical services will make them more compliant and improve blood pressure control."

The year-long, voluntary program will be implemented by fifth-year pharmacy students as part of their Professional Experience Program, the School of Pharmacy's mandatory externship.

Pharmacies participating in this hypertension monitoring program are: Clarence Leader Pharmacy at 8899 Main St., Clarence; Transit Hill Pharmacy, 6344 Transit Road, Depew, and the pharmacy at Wegman's Galleria on Walden Avenue in Cheektowaga..

The students have been trained to follow guidelines drawn up by the Joint National Commission on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure.

By counseling patients each time they come in to fill their prescriptions, the pharmacy students will have the opportunity to determine if medications are being taken correctly, to closely monitor patients for side effects due to their medications, and to report to the patient's physician any problems with the medication regimen.

"Patients will be instructed to refill their prescriptions every 25 days so they will never be without their medication," said Madejski. "If they're not taking their medication, it will probably show up in the prescription records."

Even more importantly, Madejski said, the pharmacy students will use the counseling time to reinforce the physician's recommendations about the importance of taking medication, following a proper diet, increasing exercise and decreasing or curtailing smoking.

Physicians will be notified not only when a patient's condition requires closer monitoring due to a problem with compliance, but when a patient's condition improves or is stable, said Madejski.

Roughly half of all prescriptions dispensed from pharmacies in Western New York are filled for medications that treat hypertension or related illnesses, she added.

Patients who would like to participate should inquire at one of the participating pharmacies, or at the School of Pharmacy, 645-2826, ext. 241.

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