Short and mid-term impact of community pharmacy-based medication reviews on medication- and patient-related outcomes in Germany

Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2021 Mar;59(3):188-197. doi: 10.5414/CP203841.


Objective: To assess the effect of a routine medication review service in German community pharmacies (ATHINA) on drug-related problems (DRPs) and patient-related outcomes.

Materials and methods: From 2015 to 2017, ATHINA patients were invited by their pharmacists to participate in a prospective, observational trial, meaning that they needed to attend to a follow-up visit (T2) 3 - 6 months after the routine ATHINA baseline (T0) and concluding visit (T1) to assess implementation rates of the pharmacists' interventions. Moreover, they were asked to fill in 2 surveys on drug treatment-related quality of life and satisfaction with the amount of information received about medicines at T0, T1, and T2.

Results: Of 132 recruited patients, 115 completed T2. At T0, pharmacists documented a DRP or information need for 114 of 115 patients. About half of these issues were resolved leading to 43/115 patients without any DRP or information need at T1 and 50/115 patients without any DRP or information need at T2 (i.e., absolute reduction by 42.6%, p < 0.001). Also, the number of patients who felt that their daily life was not impaired at all or only very slightly by their drug treatment increased from 54.7% (58/106) at T0 to 67.6% (73/108, p = 0.011) at T2. While the overall satisfaction score with the amount of information on medicines increased from 10.2 ± 5.5 at T0 over 14.6 ± 3.8 (T1) to 15.4 ± 3.1 (T2, p < 0.001), this increase did not correlate with reduced information needs.

Conclusion: The results suggest that the intervention improves medication- and patient-related outcomes. However, causal relationships are still questionable.

MeSH terms

  • Community Pharmacy Services*
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions* / prevention & control
  • Germany
  • Humans
  • Pharmacies*
  • Pharmacists
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life