Preferences of Patients and Pharmacists with Regard to the Management of Drug-Drug Interactions: A Choice-Based Conjoint Analysis

Drug Saf. 2018 Feb;41(2):179-189. doi: 10.1007/s40264-017-0601-7.


Introduction: The management of drug-drug interactions (DDIs) is a complex process in which risk-benefit assessments should be combined with the patient's perspective.

Objective: The aim of this study was to determine patients' and pharmacists' preferences regarding DDI management.

Methods: We conducted a choice-based conjoint survey about a fictitious DDI concerning the combination of a cardiovascular drug and an antibiotic for pneumonia. Patients and pharmacists had to choose 12 times between two management options. The options were described by five attributes, including risk, benefit and practical consequences. Each attribute could have two different levels, which were varied over the choice tasks. Latent class analysis was used to identify potential classes of respondents with distinct patterns of similar preferences.

Results: In total, 298 patients and 178 pharmacists completed the questionnaire. The latent class model for both patients and pharmacists resulted in three classes. For patients, in one class the most importance was attached to avoiding switch of medication (class probability 20%), in a second class to fewer adverse events (41%), and in a third class to blood sampling (39%). For pharmacists, again one class attached the highest importance to avoiding switch of medication (31%). The other classes gave priority to curing pneumonia (31%) and avoiding blood sampling (38%).

Conclusion: The results showed diverging preferences regarding DDI management among both patients and pharmacists. Different groups attached different value to risk and benefit versus practical considerations. Awareness of existing variability in preferences among and between pharmacists and patients is a step towards shared decision making in DDI management.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Cardiovascular Agents / therapeutic use
  • Drug Interactions / physiology*
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pharmacists / statistics & numerical data*
  • Pneumonia / drug therapy
  • Risk
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Cardiovascular Agents