The Pharmacist's Role in Heart Health


Full Transcript

RxSafe | Heart Health Panel Discussion



Sandra Awaida, PharmD

Jennifer Marquez, PharmD

Dr. Nathan S. Bryan, PhD

Brittany R. Messer, PharmD

The pharmacist plays an important role in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases, mainly through patient education, counseling, detection, and control of specific risk factors.

Join RxSafe as we present experienced pharmacists and experts who will share their knowledge of best practices that have a direct impact on heart health outcomes that community pharmacies can implement in their practices.

Dr. Messer is a clinical pharmacy specialist practicing with the cardiology department at Marshall Health. She completed residency at the VA Medical Center in Huntington, West Virginia, where she gained experience with heart failure medication optimization, anticoagulation management and cardiovascular disease state management, such as lipids and hypertension, in both the inpatient and ambulatory settings. Dr. Messer currently works closely with the heart failure clinic and general cardiology at Marshall Cardiology.

Dr. Awaida is founder of PreciGenX, a company that helps other physicians and pharmacists grow their businesses by incorporating CCM, RPM, and PGx services in their practices. She utilizes patient monitoring and evidence-based pharmacotherapy and pharmacogenomics to prevent, predict and personalize medication therapy to improve outcomes for her patients.

Dr. Marquez is an experienced, residency-trained, oncology board-certified, and PGx-certified pharmacist. She is passionate about helping patients and providers overcome drug therapy challenges.

Dr. Bryan was the first to describe nitrite and nitrate as indispensable nutrients required for optimal cardiovascular health. Dr. Bryan has published a number of highly cited papers and authored or edited 5 books. He is an international leader in molecular medicine and nitric oxide biochemistry.


 Panel Overview:  

Cardiovascular disease is highly prevalent, affecting 4 of every 10 Americans, and its costs are expected to exceed $1.1 trillion by 2035, noted from a study published by the Journal of American Heart Association. 

The pharmacist plays a relevant role in primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular diseases, mainly through patient education and counseling, drug safety management, medication review, monitoring and reconciliation, detection and control of specific cardiovascular risk factors and clinical outcomes.

Pharmacists can be a key source of support for individuals looking to manage their heart health. Many of the conditions that increase the risk of heart disease require medication to treat, and taking those medications as prescribed can help reduce the risk of a cardiovascular event.

This discussion is about the panelists experience and knowledge of heart health best practices, suggested supplements like Nitric Oxide, lowering cholesterol, and many other topics which have a direct impact on heart health education and programs for Community Pharmacies to implement in their practices. 

What is the link between cholesterol and heart disease?


Many years of scientific studies have shown a close relationship between cardiovascular disease and cholesterol levels. Your doctor may request a lipid profile—a test that shows the levels of LDL (bad cholesterol), HDL (good cholesterol), and triglycerides in your blood—to assess your risk for developing heart disease. 

What about the risk of liver damage from taking statin medications?

The frequency of liver problems with statin therapy is actually quite low. Less than 1 percent of people have to stop taking statins because they develop liver problems. Long-term trials have confirmed the safety of statins—the latest guidelines do not suggest a need to monitor people on statins who have normal liver function. In addition, in some cases where there is evidence of fat deposits in the liver, statin therapy may actually improve liver function tests.