Alberta, Canada—More than three times as many patients reached their target cholesterol levels when their care was overseen by pharmacists, compared to usual care, according to a new Canadian study. The report published in the Canadian Pharmacists Journal points out that those patients’ cholesterol levels also dropped farther than for others who were given only test results, a pamphlet, and usual care. University of Alberta researchers conducted the study in Alberta, the only province in Canada that authorizes certified pharmacists to prescribe any needed medications for patients, as opposed to other provinces where that role is limited. For the research conducted from January 2012 to mid-2014, pharmacists at 14 community pharmacies assessed patients’ risk of high-cholesterol, prescribed drugs, ordered tests, and explained the results. The lower cholesterol levels achieved in the treatment group would be expected to reduce heart attacks, death due to coronary disease, and the need for bypass surgery or angioplasty by 13%, and to reduce stroke by 11%, according to the report.

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