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Vascular health check service launched by Pfizer

By News team

A pharmacy-based vascular health check service was launched by Pfizer yesterday (7 June 2010).

The service aims to provide primary care organisations and local pharmaceutical committees with the support needed to deliver a vascular health check programme aligned with the NHS Health Checks programme.

Head of the new service at Pfizer Jon Scholefield told PJ Online that primary care organisations will be able to choose the parts of the service they need and will be charged by Pfizer accordingly.

Costs range from £25 to £40, with the higher price including equipment such as blood pressure monitors and lancets, training, service support and Pfizer summary reports, which enable primary care organisations to carry out audits. An accompanying software program calculates patient risk factors and relays test results to the patient’s GP.

Whether and how much a pharmacist delivering the service is remunerated is dependent on the primary care trust, Mr Scholefield added.

Each check takes approximately 20 minutes and is offered free to those aged between 40 and 74 who have not been diagnosed with cardiovascular disease.

Pfizer is currently in talks with PCTs across England but none has agreed to purchase the service so far, Mr Scholefield said. The service will also be offered to primary care organisations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The roll out follows a pilot programme held last summer (see Panel).

Pilot vascular health check service

The local enhanced service was piloted last summer (July–September 2009) in seven pharmacies across the UK, where 338 patients were screened.

Of those, 66 per cent said they were unlikely to have had a vascular health check if it had required an appointment with their GP. However, 15 per cent were found to be at risk of cardiovascular disease and subsequently referred to their GP.

Most patients (69 per cent) said pharmacy was an appropriate place from which to offer a vascular health check service.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal URI: 11013469

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