A pharmacist who set up a clinic to reduce cardiovascular risk has been named as the winner of the 2008 Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry Annual Pharmacy Award.


​Dr Briegeen Girvin saw 75 patients during 44 clinics held during the course of a year, 41 men and 34 women with ages ranging from 35 to 78.

All of the patients, who were selected from the 481 hypertensive patients at the GP practice in Belfast where Dr Girvin works, were given dietary and lifestyle advice.

Out of the 75, 17 were commenced on statins, three were started on aspirin and a further 27 had their antihypertensive treatments changed. Follow-up blood pressure (BP) tests showed that the mean BP in this group of 27 patients had fallen from 152/92 mmHg to 130/76 mmHg.

Dr Girvin, a former research pharmacist at Queen’s University in Belfast, saw each of the patients during 30 minute appointments, designed to allow each person to ask questions and discuss their treatment.

She said: “During the consultation, patients were counselled on lifestyle measures and the concept of reducing cardiovascular risk. The longer appointment also permitted time for the patient to be relaxed and seated for 10 minutes before blood pressure measurements were taken.

Blood pressure was measured using the OMRON 705CP or OMRON MX3 monitor. CVD risk was calculated where appropriate.

Following discussions with the GPs that Dr Girvin works alongside at the practice in Belfast, she drew up two practice protocols, one on who should receive aspirin treatment and another for statin monitoring.

She added: “Feedback from both patients and GPs was very good regarding the clinic. Patients said that they enjoyed having more time with the pharmacist and appreciated being able to ask questions about their condition and its treatment. The GPs thought that the service was very worth while.

“Patients benefited through reductions in blood pressure, reductions in cholesterol and through advice on lifestyle and dietary advice. Hopefully these interventions will have long term effects in reducing their rates of MI and stroke.”

The ABPI award, now in its fourth year, is presented to a pharmacist who has shown:

  • Innovative practice that has improved the use of medicines.
  • Significant improvements in the quality of prescribing, dispensing or administration of medicines.
  • Service developments that ensure patient access to high quality care and medicines.

“Pharmacists are in the front line of providing healthcare advice, and the ABPI is delighted to promote awards to those who have made a positive difference to patients through more effective use of medicines,” said Martin Anderson, ABPI Director of NHS Policy & Partnerships.

Dr Girvin will receive a £500 cash award; she intends to spend the money visiting other hypertension pharmacists in order to share ideas and develop best practice.

Entries for the award were judged by a panel of senior pharmacists and the ABPI, which represents 75 pharmaceutical companies in the UK producing prescription medicines


About the ABPI:

The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) has 150 members including the large majority of the research-based pharmaceutical companies operating in the UK, both large and small.  Our member companies research, develop, manufacture and supply more than 80 per cent of the medicines prescribed through the National Health Service (NHS).  For further information visit: www.abpi.org.uk

Media contact: ABPI Press office, 020 7747 1410.

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