Researchers in the Netherlands have recently assessed outcomes from 25 general practices in a non-randomised, controlled intervention study to determine if integration of non-dispensing pharmacists (NDPs) has an effect on medication-related hospitalisations, drug burden index and costs for high risk patients (65 years and older and using 5 or more ongoing medications). Pharmaceutical care in three groups was compared:

  • Intervention group: NDP-led care where NDPs performed a range of medication therapy services such as clinical medication reviews and quality improvement projects
  • Usual care group: involving GPs and community pharmacists
  • Usual care plus group: involving pharmacists with additional medication review training

In the 11,281 patients studied, the intervention group had a rate ratio of 0.68 (95% CI: 0.57-0.82) medication‐related hospitalisations in comparison to usual care and 1.05 (95% CI: 0.73–1.52) in comparison to usual care plus, with no changes in drug burden index or costs. The study therefore shows that patients have a lower risk of medication-related hospitalisation with NDP-led care compared to usual care and that NDP-led care should be integrated into primary care to enhance pharmacotherapy. Read the full paper here.

Contributed by Australian Medication Safety Services Associate – Isabella Singh