Detection of prescribing related problems at the community pharmacy

Int J Clin Pharm. 2011 Feb;33(1):66-9. doi: 10.1007/s11096-010-9459-9. Epub 2011 Jan 13.


Objective: The objective of this study was to detect prescribing-related problems at a community pharmacy in Madrid (Spain) and to analyze these problems from the perspective of their prevention and patient safety.

Method: A descriptive study was conducted at a community pharmacy during a 6-month period. The data collection was generated by the pharmacists reviewing all the prescriptions, and dispensed medication. All prescriptions, prescribing-related problems, and pharmacist interventions were recorded. Means, standard deviation, and frequency were calculated.

Results: A total of 23,995 prescriptions were evaluated, and 355 prescribing errors were detected. The most common problems were incomplete prescriptions or incorrect information, and prescriptions for unavailable items 70% (247/355). Inappropriate doses were reported in 27 cases (7.61%), followed by inappropriate direction/ instruction in 25 cases (8%). Fifty-four percent (195/355) of the errors were resolved without any contact with the general practices.

Conclusions: The incidence of prescribing problems reported by community pharmacy was relatively low compared with other studies. This study has contributed to illustrate the role that community pharmacy has in the detection and rectification of prescribing problems to ensure maximum patient safety at the community setting.

MeSH terms

  • Community Pharmacy Services
  • Drug Prescriptions / standards*
  • Humans
  • Medication Errors / statistics & numerical data*
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Pharmacies*
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'*
  • Spain