Role of the Pharmacist in Supporting Adherence

  • Marie P. SchneiderEmail author
  • Parisa Aslani
Part of the Updates in Hypertension and Cardiovascular Protection book series (UHCP)


In the era of chronic diseases and polypharmacy, patient nonadherence is a silent and worldwide endemic issue that contributes to extra morbidity/mortality and healthcare costs. Nonadherence can be reduced when addressed by educated healthcare teams, pharmacists being part of them. Pharmacists’ activities have switched from a medication-oriented activity to a patient-centred perspective in order to support patient’s self-management. In collaboration with other healthcare providers, they screen, resolve and prevent medication nonadherence. In parallel to a critical review and a reconciliation of the patient’s treatment, they provide patients with therapeutic education and behavioural support. Pharmacists are trained in communication skills and have many opportunities to monitor patient’s medication-taking behaviour and promote adherence from medication initiation to implementation and persistence. The pharmacist uses tools and strategies for screening (medication computerized histories) and for addressing both intentional and unintentional medication nonadherence. Leaflets are part of educational strategies, whereas medication synchronization approaches, pillboxes, Direct Observed Therapy (D.O.T.) or mHealth are more behavioural.

There is an important body of literature showing the positive impact of pharmacist interventions to support pharmacotherapy, medication adherence and clinical targets in patients with cardiovascular disease (CVD). The most successful pharmacist interventions are multifaceted. However, despite the evidence on their effectiveness, few programmes have been implemented in real-world settings. Such a translation can be made possible through healthcare provider interprofessional education and through new policies. This chapter aims at describing the role of the pharmacist in addressing medication adherence, particularly in cardiovascular patients.


Pharmacist Pharmacy Medication adherence Intervention strategies Communication skills Effectiveness Interprofessionality 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Community Pharmacy, Department of Ambulatory Care and Community MedicineUniversity of LausanneLausanneSwitzerland
  2. 2.Community Pharmacy, School of Pharmaceutical SciencesUniversity of Geneva, University of LausanneLausanneSwitzerland
  3. 3.Faculty of PharmacyThe University of SydneySydneyAustralia

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