According to a recent study that was published in the Journal of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, regular pharmacist involvement improves the outcome of HIV cases.
The study examined the impact of pharmacist-assisted pharmacotherapy management within the capacity of a physician–pharmacist shared practice procedure for HIV-infected patients, and the results showed that early and continuous pharmacist involvement helps patient reach and maintain viral suppression faster.
The pharmacist who conducted the analysis evaluated antiretroviral therapy (ART) results in treatment-naïve patients that started on ART at an HIV clinic from 1999 to 2013. The researchers placed patients into two groups: those referred to a clinic-based HIV pharmacist for initiation of ART and those managed by a primary care provider.
The study concluded the best treatment for HIV is almost-perfect lifelong adherence to ART. HIV-infected patients who adhere to at least three active antiretroviral agents are likely to achieve and sustain durable viral suppression.
Those who don't adhere to ART are more likely to need new regimens as viral resistance emerges. Other factors such as stronger ART regimens, lower starting baseline plasma viral loads, higher baseline CD4+ cell counts and a rapid response to treatment are also associated with sustained durable viral suppression, according to the study.