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SGLT2i plus MRAs for Heart Failure: A Sweet or Sour Combination?

We now have “diabetes medications” to treat heart failure with reduced ejection practice (HFrEF). Many clinicians have not yet used a sodium-glucose transporter 2 inhibitor (SGLT2i) for the treatment of HF and are (rightfully) concerned about potential drug-drug interactions, particularly when using an SGTL2i with a mineralocorticoid (MRA). A recent secondary analysis using data from the EMPEROR-Reduced study may provide some reassurance.

Guest Authors:  B. Blake Miller, PharmD, BCPS and Jennifer Clements, PharmD, BCPS, BCACP, CDCES, BC-ADM

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Tiny (n-of-1) Trials to Overcome Statin-Associated Muscle Pain

In blinded clinical trials the percentage of patients who experience muscle symptoms while taking a statin is typically in the 3-5% range.  In practice, the percentage of patients who report muscle symptoms is 10-25%.  This disparity between what has been observed in blinded trials and what patients experience when treated with a statin is due, in part, to the nocebo effect — a belief that a medication may cause harm.  How many lives could be saved if we routinely used tiny randomized, controlled, blinded trials to determine when statin therapy can be safely continued?

Guest Panelists: Elizabeth Hearn, PharmD; Stuart T Haines PharmD, BCPS, BCACP; and Kathryn (Katie) Kiser, PharmD, BCACP

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FAST Take: Update on Febuxostat Cardiovascular Safety

We know gout is among the many comorbidities that increase the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). In 2018, the cardiovascular safety of febuxostat and allopurinol in patients with gout and cardiovascular morbidities (CARES) trial concluded that febuxostat was non-inferior to allopurinol. BUT, two of the secondary endpoints were very concerning. Febuxostat was inferior to allopurinol in terms of cardiovascular death and all-cause mortality. Many clinicians were left wondering whether febuxostat was cardiotoxic …. or conversely, perhaps allopurinol was cardioprotective. Will another cardiovascular outcome trial provide greater clarity to guide clinical practice?

Guest Authors: Sophia Dietrich, PharmD and Michael W. Nagy, PharmD, BCACP

Guest Panelist: Dawn Fuke, PharmD, BCPS

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Is it Time to Add Colchicine to the CVD Cocktail?

Systemic inflammation appears to be an important contributor to atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease but, to date, no medications have been approved that specifically target systemic inflammation. Could colchicine, an anti-inflammatory drug that has been used for decades, move from “perhaps-do” to a “must-do” standard of care for patients with coronary artery disease (CAD)? Data from two previous trials have demonstrated colchicine’s positive impact on cardiovascular outcomes. The LoDoCo2 study asks us, again, to consider colchicine for patients with CAD.

Guest Authors:  Augustus (Rob) Hough, PharmD, BCCP and Taylor Huff, PharmD

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No Provider Status, No Problem: CCM as a Revenue Source in Community Pharmacy

Hypertension is poorly managed in the United States with only 25% of patients achieving optimal blood pressure (BP) control (BP less than 130/80 mmHg).  To achieve optimal control, patients require close follow-up and BP-lowering medication regimens need to be titrated and periodically adjusted. Community pharmacists are in a unique position to manage patients who have poorly controlled hypertension. However, significant barriers exist to implementing hypertension management services by community pharmacists including a lack of reimbursement. Is chronic care management (CCM) a viable payment model to support these services?

Guest Authors:  Kimberly Zitko, PharmD, BCACP, BCGP and Brittany Schmidt, PharmD, BCACP

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An Incli-ng of Benefit? Efficacy and Safety of Inclisiran for Elevated LDL

Lipid management continues to be an essential component in the prevention and treatment of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD).  For the past decade, clinical practice guidelines have gone back and forth about optimal treatment goals but guidelines all agree that statins should be used as the preferred initial therapy. However, there is still a lack of clarity about the optimal add-on therapies. The newest LDL-lowering therapy is inclisiran, a small interfering RNA (siRNA) that targets the PCSK9 pathway.

Guest Authors:  Joshua O. Holmes, PharmD, MS and Amanda Schartel, PharmD, BCACP

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Let’s COLCOT to the Chase: Colchicine for Secondary Prevention of CV Events

Millions of Americans will have a myocardial infarction in their lifetime and 20% will have a recurrent fatal or non-fatal coronary heart disease event. Several modifiable risk factors, including elevated blood pressure, cholesterol, and glucose as well as tobacco use, can and should be addressed to reduce the risk of recurrent cardiovascular events. Systemic inflammation has also been associated with poor CV outcomes. Is systemic inflammation a modifiable CV risk factor? And if so, should an anti-inflammatory agent be added to the recommend post-MI drug cocktail to reduce the risk of morbidity and mortality?  That's the question that the COLCOT Study attempted to answer.

Guest Authors:  Jessica Wearden, PharmD and Augustus (Rob) Hough, PharmD, BCPS, BCCP

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Will Oral Semaglutide PIONEER the Way to Lower Cardiovascular Risk?

Until recently, glucagon-like-peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists were only available as injectable products. Some clinicians and patients are reluctant to use injectable agents because they require additional patient education and can be intimidating.  If a GLP-1 receptor agonist were available in an oral dose form, it would be welcomed treatment option. But would the cardiovascular safety and benefits of oral GLP-1 receptor agonists be better, similar, or worse than their injectable siblings?

Guest Authors:  Sally Earl, PharmD, BCPS and Megan Supple, PharmD, BCACP

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Need a VITALity Boost? Rethink Vitamin D and Fish Oil Supplements

Vitamin D and fish oil (aka omega-3 fatty acids) were the most widely used vitamin and nutritional supplement in 2011-2012.  Both have been commonly touted for their potential benefits in reducing cancer and cardiovascular disease. While vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acid supplements are wildly popular, the evidence supporting their health benefits is inconclusive and inconsistent. The VITAL study sought to determine whether vitamin D and/or marine omega-3 fatty acids can prevent cardiovascular disease (CVD) and cancer when used by the general population.

Guest Authors:  Anthony M Todd, PharmD; Sean E Smithgall, PharmD, BCACP; and Nicole A Slater, PharmD, BCACP

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Top Ten Things Every Clinician Should Know About the 2018 Cholesterol Guidelines

The American Heart Association / American College of Cardiology (AHA/ACC) Task Force recently published the 2018 Guideline on the Management of Blood Cholesterol. The guidelines writing committee had representation from 12 organizations, including the National Lipid Association, American Diabetes Association, and the American Pharmacists Association — all of whom endorsed the guidelines. The previous guidelines (published in 2013) were intended to answer some specific clinical questions and significantly changed our approach to treatment. The 2018 guidelines provide a more comprehensive set of recommendations, akin to the (older) National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Adult Treatment Panel (ATP) III guidelines last published in 2002!

Guest Authors:  Dawn Fuke, Pharm.D., BCPS, and Zach Conroy, PharmD, BCACP

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