Community pharmacy-based pharmaceutical care for asthma patients

Ann Pharmacother. 2005 Nov;39(11):1817-22. doi: 10.1345/aph.1G180. Epub 2005 Oct 11.


Background: Despite significant progress in asthma drug therapy in recent years, there has been no major change in asthma morbidity and mortality. It is still important to determine whether pharmaceutical care (PC) influences health outcomes.

Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of PC with regard to clinical, humanistic, and economic outcomes in adults with asthma.

Methods: An intervention study was conducted over 12 months. At baseline, 39 community/retail pharmacies, 84 primary care physicians (general practitioners, internal specialists, chest physicians), and 183 patients (aged 18-65 y) diagnosed with asthma were included. To evaluate economic outcomes, 2 German statutory health insurance funds provided 2 years of claims data for their insured patients (n = 55). A 1:10 matching was carried out to compare the data of this intervention subgroup with those of a control group (n = 550).

Results: Significant improvements were found for all humanistic outcomes (eg, asthma-specific quality of life, self-efficacy, knowledge, medication adherence). In addition, asthma severity, self-reported symptoms, peak expiratory flow, and patients' inhalation technique improved. Increases in forced expiratory volume in 1 second and vital capacity were not significant over time. Evaluation of the insurance claims data revealed a shift toward better adherence to evidence-based therapy.

Conclusions: The study shows that PC for people with asthma has a positive impact on humanistic and, to some extent, on clinical outcomes. To determine potential economic benefits, future research should focus on patients with more severe asthma.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adrenergic beta-2 Receptor Antagonists
  • Adrenergic beta-Agonists / therapeutic use
  • Adult
  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents / classification
  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Asthma / drug therapy*
  • Community Pharmacy Services / standards*
  • Community Pharmacy Services / statistics & numerical data
  • Community Pharmacy Services / trends
  • Female
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Insurance Claim Review / economics
  • Insurance Claim Review / statistics & numerical data
  • Male
  • Peak Expiratory Flow Rate / drug effects
  • Pharmaceutical Services / standards*
  • Pharmaceutical Services / trends
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Theophylline / therapeutic use
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Adrenergic beta-2 Receptor Antagonists
  • Adrenergic beta-Agonists
  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents
  • Theophylline