Integrating family medicine and pharmacy to advance primary care therapeutics

Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2008 Jun;83(6):913-7. doi: 10.1038/clpt.2008.29. Epub 2008 Mar 19.


The prevalence of suboptimal prescribing of medications is well documented. Patients are often undertreated or not offered therapeutic treatments that are likely to confer benefit. As a result, drug-related hospital admissions are common and often preventable. Improvements to the health-care system are clearly needed in order to maximize the benefits that can be derived from medications. Many countries are changing their primary health-care systems to improve the quality of health-care delivery. One main transformation is the use of multidisciplinary care teams to provide care in a coordinated manner often from the same location or by using the common medical record of the patients. It has been demonstrated that pharmacists can improve prescribing, reduce health-care utilization and medication costs, and contribute to clinical improvements in many chronic medical conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and psychiatric illness. However, the effect of integrating a pharmacist providing general services into a primary care group has not been extensively studied. The Integrating Family Medicine and Pharmacy to Advance Primary Care Therapeutics (IMPACT) project was designed to provide a real-world demonstration of the feasibility of integrating the pharmacist into primary care office practice. This article provides a description of the IMPACT project participants; the IMPACT practice model and the concepts incorporated in its development; some initial results from the program evaluation; sustainability of the model; and some reflections on the implementation of the practice model.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Family Practice / methods*
  • Family Practice / trends
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pharmaceutical Services* / trends
  • Pharmacists* / trends
  • Pharmacy / methods
  • Pharmacy / trends
  • Primary Health Care / methods*
  • Primary Health Care / trends