Objectives: There are conflicting results in studies of pharmacists undertaking medication reviews for older people. With increasing promotion and funding for 'medication reviews' there is a need for them to be standardised, and to determine their effectiveness and the feasibility of providing them from a community pharmacy. The objective was to determine whether involvement of community pharmacists undertaking clinical medication reviews, working with general practitioners, improved medicine-related therapeutic outcomes for patients.
Methods: A randomised controlled trial was carried out in people 65 years and older on five or more prescribed medicines. Community pharmacists undertook a clinical medication review (Comprehensive Pharmaceutical Care) and met with the patient's general practitioner to discuss recommendations about possible medicine changes. The patients were followed-up 3-monthly. The control group received usual care. The main outcome measures were Quality of Life (SF-36) and Medication Appropriateness Index.
Key findings: A total of 498 patients were enrolled in the study. The quality-of-life domains of emotional role and social functioning were significantly reduced in the intervention group compared to the control group. The Medication Appropriateness Index was significantly improved in the intervention group. Only 39% of the 44 pharmacists who agreed to participate in the study provided adequate data, which was a limitation of the study and indicated potential barriers to the generalisability of the study.
Conclusion: Clinical medication reviews in collaboration with general practitioners can have a positive effect on the Medication Appropriateness Index. However, pharmacist withdrawal from the study suggests that community pharmacy may not be an appropriate environment from which to expand clinical medication reviews in primary care.
© 2011 The Authors. IJPP © 2011 Royal Pharmaceutical Society.