Pharmacist-Led Home Medicines Review and Residential Medication Management Review: The Australian Model

Drugs Aging. 2016 Mar;33(3):199-204. doi: 10.1007/s40266-016-0357-2.


Older people are often prescribed multiple medicines and have a high prevalence of polypharmacy. Polypharmacy is associated with an increased risk of inappropriate use of medicines and drug-related problems. As experts in pharmacotherapy, pharmacists are well placed to review complex medication regimens and identify causes of drug-related problems and recommend solutions to prevent or resolve them. Involvement in medication review services represents a major philosophical shift and paradigm change in the way pharmacists practice, in that the focus is shifted away from the dispensing of prescription medicines to the provision of a professional service for a patient, in collaboration with their general practitioner (GP). In Australia, there are two established medication review programs: Home Medicines Review (HMR) and Residential Medication Management Review (RMMR). The objectives of this article were to describe the process of government-funded medication review services in Australia and to evaluate the contribution of pharmacists to HMR and RMMR, using evidence-based measures, such as the Drug Burden Index (DBI) and the Medication Appropriateness Index (MAI). This review found that there is good evidence to support the role of pharmacists in delivering medication review services across different settings. Although the positive impact of such services has been demonstrated using a variety of validated measures (DBI, MAI), there remains a need to also evaluate actual clinical outcomes and/or patient-reported outcomes.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Australia
  • General Practitioners / organization & administration
  • Humans
  • Medication Therapy Management / organization & administration*
  • Pharmacists / organization & administration*
  • Polypharmacy*