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Impact of a pharmacist-run weight loss medication management service

Published:November 24, 2021DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.japh.2021.11.022

      Abstract

      Background

      Weight loss medications have been shown to be effective for weight loss and reducing disease state risk in patients who are overweight or obese. However, it is unknown what impact pharmacists have on weight loss when providing medication management services.

      Objective

      To evaluate weight loss outcomes and clinic utilization of a pharmacist-run weight loss pharmacotherapy service at the VA Tennessee Valley Healthcare System (TVHS) in Nashville, TN.

      Practice Description

      Patients enrolled in the MOVE! weight loss program were referred to a clinical pharmacy specialist (CPS) who was able to assess comorbidities, prescribe weight loss medication, and provide ongoing follow-up via telehealth visits.

      Practice Innovation

      This is the first description of a pharmacist-run weight loss pharmacotherapy clinic. This model expanded the role of pharmacists at TVHS, where CPS involvement was previously limited to chart reviews when medication recommendations were requested.

      Evaluation

      This prospective quality improvement project evaluated patients seen by the CPS in the first 6 months of clinic implementation. Primary outcomes included change in weight and proportion of patients with at least 5% weight loss at the end of the study period. Results were compared with patients seen by preventative medicine providers (PMPs) in the same time frame.

      Results

      A total of 79 patients were seen in the CPS clinic, and 40 met inclusion criteria. The clinic utilization rate was 100%. Mean weight change was −3.6 ± 5.7 kg (P < 0.001), and 25% of patients followed up by the CPS lost at least 5% body weight. In the PMP clinic, 29 patients demonstrated a mean weight change of −1.6 ± 6.0 kg (P = 0.15 compared with baseline), and 17.2% lost at least 5% body weight.

      Conclusion

      This pharmacist-led weight loss clinic demonstrated statistically significant reductions in weight and was able to expand access to care for patients seeking weight loss services.
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      Biography

      Kayla Haverkamp, PharmD, BCPS, BCACP, Primary Care Clinical Pharmacy Specialist, Phoenix VA, Phoenix, AZ; at the time of study: Postgraduate Year 2, Ambulatory Care Pharmacy Resident, VA Tennessee Valley Healthcare System, Nashville, TN

      Biography

      Paula Newberry, PharmD, BCPS, BCGP, BCACP, Primary Care Clinical Pharmacy Specialist, VA Tennessee Valley Healthcare System, Clarksville, TN

      Biography

      Jennifer Baker, PharmD, BCPS, BCACP, Clinical Pharmacy Specialist, VISN 4 Clinical Resource Hub, Wilmington, DE; at the time of study: Telemedicine Clinical Pharmacy Specialist and Residency Research Coordinator, VA Tennessee Valley Healthcare System, Nashville, TN