Barber Shop

Pharmacist-led hypertension care in Black barbershops – a cost-effective way to improve blood pressure control and reduce health inequities?

By Ahmed El-Medany

In the Los Angeles Barbershop Blood Pressure Study (LABBPS), pharmacist-led hypertension care in Black-owned barbershops significantly improved blood pressure (BP) control in non-Hispanic Black men with poorly controlled hypertension at baseline.

In this analysis, Bryant et al conducted a 10-year event simulation that predicted BP, medication-related adverse events, fatal and nonfatal CVD events, and non-CVD death among study participants. The researchers estimated program costs, health care costs, and quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs).

Simulation analysis showed that the barbershop intervention was highly cost-effective, with a mean cost of $42,717 per QALY gained.

Researchers estimated a 58% probability of the intervention being highly cost-effective. Cost-effectiveness improved to $17,162 per QALY gained when the simulation was limited to the exclusive use of generic drugs.

Embedding trained cardiovascular professionals in non-traditional settings where Black men may be more comfortable receiving care may have had a significant impact. Importantly, the authors state: ‘Cost-effectiveness estimated for the LABBPS may not be generalizable to other U.S. communities, as it was specific to Los Angeles County and was driven in part by the high underlying risk of cardiovascular disease in Black men.

’‘It is unknown how an intervention like LABBPS might impact Black men in different locations across the U.S. However, the main results and exploratory analyses provide a useful framework to guide implementation of the LABBPS intervention and other community-based hypertension control interventions on a larger scale.’

Read more on the Journal of the American Heart Association website.

Bryant KB, Moran AE, Kazi DS, Zhang Y, Penko J, Ruiz-Negrón N, Coxson P, Blyler CA, Lynch K, Cohen LP, Tajeu GS. Cost-effectiveness of Hypertension Treatment by Pharmacists in Black Barbershops. Circulation. 2021 Apr 15.