Integrating medication therapy management in the primary care medical home: A review of randomized controlled trials

Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2011 Feb 15;68(4):335-45. doi: 10.2146/ajhp100405.


Purpose: Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that evaluated the effect of medication therapy management (MTM) on patient outcomes in the primary care medical home were reviewed to determine how these services may be integrated into the primary care medical home.

Methods: A literature search was conducted to identify RCTS published between 1989 and 2009 that evaluated the impact of MTM services on patient outcomes. To qualify as MTM services, the interventions had to include both a review of medication therapy and patient interactions, including educating patients about drug therapy, identifying potential barriers to medication adherence, and helping patients manage their diseases. The internal validity of the studies was evaluated using previously published criteria. The description, specification, and appropriateness of study objectives, study population, intervention, randomization, blinding, outcome measures, statistical analysis, and conclusions were evaluated.

Results: A total of 1795 publications were identified, but only 8 met the inclusion criteria. These studies targeted patients with specific medical conditions or patients with multiple medications without specifying a medical condition. The interventions varied in intensity (i.e., frequency and length of patient contact), ranging from a single patient contact in a community pharmacy setting to multiple visits with an ambulatory care pharmacist practicing in a collaborative care model. Two of the 8 studies obtained expected results. These studies targeted patients with unrealized therapeutic goals, and the interventions involved collaboration between pharmacists and physicians and extensive patient follow-up.

Conclusion: Of 1795 publications identified, 8 were RCTs meeting selection criteria for evaluation of the effect of MTM services on patient outcomes. Two service elements that benefit patient care were identified: (1) selecting patients with specific therapeutic problems and (2) implementing MTM services that involve timely communication with primary care providers to discuss therapeutic problems, along with routine patient follow-up to support medication adherence to changes in therapy.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Community Pharmacy Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Home Care Services / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Medication Therapy Management / statistics & numerical data*
  • Patient Selection
  • Primary Health Care / methods*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic