Assessment of a new strategy for catalyzing deprescribing in community pharmacies

J Am Pharm Assoc (2003). 2022 Jan-Feb;62(1):125-133. doi: 10.1016/j.japh.2021.09.003. Epub 2021 Sep 11.


Background: Although community pharmacists have been actively engaged in patient care, their role in deprescribing is still restricted.

Objectives: This study aimed to assess the effectiveness of a new educational approach designed to catalyze deprescribing in community pharmacies.

Methods: In this 4-month, randomized, controlled trial, 108 community pharmacies in Egypt were randomly and equally distributed to either the active or the control groups. Participants from the active group pharmacies received 31 deprescribing-related clinical case scenarios, designed according to the available deprescribing guideline and clinical experiences of an expert panel members, and delivered through WhatsApp. Then participants from both groups reported the incidence of potentially inappropriate medicines (PIMs), the frequency of deprescribing opportunities, and related pharmacist interventions.

Results: Pharmacists from the active group reported a considerably higher incidence of PIMs (20.87%) than that reported by pharmacists from the control group (5.03%). In addition, they made 1326 deprescribing-related interventions, of which 1022 (77.07%) were accepted and 641 (48.34%) were significant interventions. The proportions of cessation of drug therapy, reducing the dose, and persuasion of patients to accept deprescribing pharmacist interventions in the active group were 37.85%, 22.09%, and 10.63%, respectively. In contrast, 150 of 268 deprescribing-related interventions (55.97%) in the active group were accepted. The clinical value and type of deprescribing decision were statistically significant determinants for the acceptance of deprescribing decisions. The mean time needed to persuade the patient about deprescribing and the cost saved per patient across the active and the control groups were 5.09 ± 3.54 minutes versus 10.03 ± 6.19 minutes and 17.88 ± 9.60 U.S. dollars versus 4.49 ± 2.44 U.S. dollars, respectively.

Conclusion: The intervention proposed improved the frequency and clinical value of deprescribing decisions.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Deprescriptions*
  • Humans
  • Inappropriate Prescribing / prevention & control
  • Pharmacies*
  • Pharmacists