Effectiveness of pharmaceutical care for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (PHARMACOP): a randomized controlled trial

Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2014 May;77(5):756-66. doi: 10.1111/bcp.12242.


Aims: Few well-designed randomized controlled trials have been conducted regarding the impact of community pharmacist interventions on pharmacotherapeutic monitoring of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). We assessed the effectiveness of a pharmaceutical care programme for patients with COPD.

Methods: The pharmaceutical care for patients with COPD (PHARMACOP) trial is a single-blind 3 month randomized controlled trial, conducted in 170 community pharmacies in Belgium, enrolling patients prescribed daily COPD medication, aged ≥ 50 years and with a smoking history of ≥ 10 pack-years. A computer-generated randomization sequence allocated patients to an intervention group (n = 371), receiving protocol-defined pharmacist care, or a control group (n = 363), receiving usual pharmacist care (1:1 ratio, stratified by centre). Interventions focusing on inhalation technique and adherence to maintenance therapy were carried out at start of the trial and at 1 month follow-up. Primary outcomes were inhalation technique and medication adherence. Secondary outcomes were exacerbation rate, dyspnoea, COPD-specific and generic health status and smoking behaviour.

Results: From December 2010 to April 2011, 734 patients were enrolled. Forty-two patients (5.7%) were lost to follow-up. At the end of the trial, inhalation score [mean estimated difference (Δ),13.5%; 95% confidence interval (CI), 10.8-16.1; P < 0.0001] and medication adherence (Δ, 8.51%; 95% CI, 4.63-12.4; P < 0.0001) were significantly higher in the intervention group compared with the control group. In the intervention group, a significantly lower hospitalization rate was observed (9 vs. 35; rate ratio, 0.28; 95% CI, 0.12-0.64; P = 0.003). No other significant between-group differences were observed.

Conclusions: Pragmatic pharmacist care programmes improve the pharmacotherapeutic regimen in patients with COPD and could reduce hospitalization rates.

Keywords: adherence; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; exacerbation; inhalation therapy; pharmacist care.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Community Pharmacy Services*
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medication Adherence
  • Middle Aged
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / complications
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / drug therapy*
  • Single-Blind Method