10 December 2018
Inadequate medicines optimisation and adherence are significant problems among patients taking secondary prevention medications following myocardial infarction (MI). A novel joint consultant cardiology pharmacist and cardiologist medicines optimisation clinic was initiated for patients recently discharged following MI.
Patients completed a locally developed tool, the ‘My Experience of Taking Medicines’ questionnaire, designed to allow sharing of barriers to adherence with medications. They then attended a clinic with the consultant pharmacist or cardiologist (or both). Secondary prevention medicines needs and barriers to adherence were identified and discussed, and an action plan developed. The data provided are from a retrospective review of 270 post-MI patients attending the service between October 2015 and December 2016.
Mean age was 67.3 years and 67.8% were male. The mean time from discharge to first outpatient clinic attendance was reduced by 56.1% (49.4 days vs 88 days before the service began). More than 95% of patient without planned non-pharmacological intervention postdischarge did not need a cardiologist’s input. Levels of medicines optimisation were improved substantially after attendance: patients receiving a recommended angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor/angiotensin receptor blocker dose increased from 16.3% to 73.9% (p<0.001); patients receiving a recommended beta-blocker dose increased from 6.2% to 46.1% (p<0.001). Patient concerns about their medications were significantly decreased (all p<0.001). Rates of non-adherence fell by 42.6%–70.8% at 3–6 months post-clinic. Readmission rates also declined after the service opened.