Methods to assess the economic outcomes of clinical pharmacy services

Pharmacotherapy. 2000 Oct;20(10 Pt 2):243S-252S. doi: 10.1592/phco.20.16.243s.35018.


Studies that demonstrate the clinical and economic burden of drug misadventures have been published. The economic burden of drug misadventures likely exceeds $100 billion annually in the United States alone. Clinical pharmacy services (CPS) have been shown to reduce negative clinical outcomes and costs of drug therapy. Pharmacy practitioners and pharmacy managers need to demonstrate the impact of CPS at the local level and present the value to financial decision-makers to gain support for implementation, continuation, and/or expansion of those services. The basic model of an economic evaluation includes measurement of both costs and consequences of a service and of an alternative for comparison. Strategies for economic assessments include the generalization from previously published literature, use of modeling techniques, and measurement of actual costs and consequences of an existing service. Guidelines for conducting an economic assessment are widely available. Pharmacy practitioners and managers should use these methods of assessing economic outcomes of CPS and, at the same time, develop relationships and skills to effectively communicate the value of those services so as to ensure long-term success.

MeSH terms

  • Cost Control
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Decision Making
  • Drug Therapy / economics*
  • Humans
  • Medication Errors / economics*
  • Medication Errors / mortality*
  • Pharmacy Service, Hospital / economics*
  • Pharmacy Service, Hospital / standards*
  • Process Assessment, Health Care / standards*
  • United States / epidemiology