Objectives: To explore and identify the key determinants influencing the uptake of medicines use reviews (MURs), a new community pharmacy service in England.
Methods: Survey of all primary care organisations (PCOs) in England (n=303, response rate=74%) and case study investigations of 10 PCOs, involving interviews with a purposive sample of 43 key stakeholders, including PCO, Local Pharmaceutical Committee and community pharmacy representatives. National data on MUR activity were also analysed and multiple linear regression was used to test determinants of MUR uptake.
Results: The ownership category of the pharmacy was shown to be the most significant determinant of MUR uptake. Rates of MUR provision by multiple pharmacies were almost twice that of independent pharmacies. Interview data corroborated this finding, suggesting that organisational pressure within multiple pharmacies was driving forward MUR activity in some PCOs. Interviewees expressed concern about this quantity driven approach. The PCO survey respondents perceived the greatest barrier to MUR implementation to be a lack of support from general practitioners (GPs). Interviewees reported a lack of communication about MURs between community pharmacists and GPs.
Conclusions: The findings suggest that the organisational setting of the pharmacy is an important factor influencing the uptake of MURs. There is also a need for greater communication and collaboration with GPs regarding the MUR service.