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.