Pharmacy Practice Review — reducing cardiovascular disease risk

7 June 2011

The latest NPS Pharmacy Practice Review helps pharmacists deliver best practice care for patients using a statin and/or ezetimibe.

Pharmacy Practice Review - Reducing cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk is part of the 2011 NPS therapeutic program on CVD risk and guiding lipid management for health professionals and builds on the NPS vision to encourage quality use of medicines.

The Review prompts pharmacists to actively engage with patients using statins and/or ezetimibe and encourage them to adhere to their medicine(s) and recommended lifestyle modifications.

“Evidence suggests that well-informed patients are more likely to stick to their prescribed treatments and pharmacists play a vital role in improving this adherence. By providing good education and counselling to patients, pharmacists can help motivate them to take the right steps to reduce their risk of heart attack, stroke or vascular disease,” NPS clinical adviser Dr Danielle Stowasser said.

This activity provides pharmacists with up-to-date clinical information on cardiovascular risk and the optimal use of statins and/or ezetimibe. It requires them to reflect on each episode of patient care and identify planned actions for the patient, areas for practice improvement and patients who would benefit from referral to their GP.

“By allowing pharmacists to self-assess their abilities against pharmacist competencies and standards, the Pharmacy Practice Review helps them determine their training and development needs. Patients also benefit from improved communication with their health professional, allowing them to make better decisions about their health and medicines,” Dr Stowasser said.

To reinforce health professional messages and help patients keep track of their progress, the following patient resources are provided as part of the Review:

  • Your heart and stroke risk score leaflet - explains heart and stroke risk and reinforces information about lifestyle modifications
  • Managing my heart health - at a glance self monitoring card encourages people to engage in a discussion with their doctor about CVD risk and promotes adherence to medicines and lifestyle modifications.

The Review has been accredited by the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia as a Group 2 activity for 16 credit points.

Pharmacists should enrol before 8 July and submit completed Review forms by 5 August 2011 to ensure feedback is received by late November. To enrol visit

The supporting NPS publication, Prescribing Practice Review (53): Absolute CVD risk assessment: guiding lipid managementis also available at

For further information about the Pharmacy Practice Review, contact Le Moss on 02 8217 8700 (select option 2) or email


Independent, evidence-based and not-for-profit, NPS enables better decisions about medicines and medical tests. We are funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing.