Impact of community-pharmacist-led medication review programmes on patient outcomes: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials

Res Social Adm Pharm. 2021 Apr 29;S1551-7411(21)00163-7. doi: 10.1016/j.sapharm.2021.04.022. Online ahead of print.


Background: The role of pharmacists has evolved over the past few decades from being product-oriented to being service-oriented. Community-pharmacist-led medication review programmes have been commissioned in different countries under different names. The services provided by general pharmacists can have a positive impact on patient health, but the impact of the services offered by community pharmacists is relatively unknown.

Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of community-pharmacist-based medication review programmes among patients with long-term conditions.

Methods: The electronic databases Cochrane Library, MEDLINE and Embase were searched from their inception until January 2020 for randomised controlled trials (RCTs) published in the English language assessing the effectiveness of community-pharmacist-led medication review programmes on patients' clinical and healthcare utilisation outcomes. Random-effects meta-analysis was used to pool data statistically, where applicable. The study protocol was published in PROSPERO (ID: CRD42020165693).

Results: Forty-two reports of 40 RCTs were included in the systematic review, and 12 RCTs were included in the meta-analysis. Compared to the control, a significant improvement was noted in the community-pharmacist-based medication review group for the following outcomes: blood pressure (BP) in patients with diabetes (mean difference [MD] in systolic blood pressure [SBP]: 6.82 [95% CI -11.33, -2.32]; MD in diastolic blood pressure [DBP]: 2.13 [95% CI -3.35, -0.92]) and in the hypertension patients (MD in SBP: 6.21 [95% CI -13.26, 0.85]; MD in DBP: 2.11 [95% CI -6.47, 2.26]), HbA1c in patients with diabetes (MD -0.61; 95% CI -0.96, -0.25), and total cholesterol (TC) in patients with hyperlipidaemia (MD -0.18; 95% CI -0.32, -0.05).

Conclusion: Community-pharmacist-led medication review can improve certain clinical and healthcare utilisation outcomes in patients with long-term conditions.

Keywords: Community pharmacy; Medication review; Pharmacist; Systematic review; meta-Analysis.

Publication types

  • Review