The role of the pharmacist in optimizing pharmacotherapy in older people.
ABSTRACT Prescription of medicines is a fundamental component of the care of older people, but evidence suggests that pharmacotherapy in this population is often inappropriate. Pharmacists have been involved in different approaches for the optimization of prescribing and rational medication use in older people. This article describes the different models of care in which pharmacists are involved in the optimization of pharmacotherapy in older people, and reviews the impact of these approaches on both process and outcome measures. The provision of pharmaceutical care, medication reviews and educational interventions by pharmacists in the nursing home, ambulatory and acute care settings are discussed. We selected systematic reviews, reviews and original studies, and for the latter, we focused more specifically on European publications published between 2001 and 2011. From the literature reviewed, it is clear that when pharmacists play a proactive role in performing medication reviews and in the active education of other healthcare professionals, pharmacotherapy for older patients is improved. However, the evidence of the impact of pharmacists' interventions on health outcomes, quality of life or cost effectiveness of care is mixed. Better results have been reported when pharmacists are skilled and work in the context of a multidisciplinary team. Opportunities remain for multicentre, European-based, pharmacist-intervention trials in all settings, to determine the effectiveness and economic benefit of pharmacist involvement in the optimization of pharmacotherapy in older people.
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ABSTRACT: Background: Drugs can be supplied either directly from the prescribing physician (physician dispensing [PD]) or via a pharmacy. It is unclear whether the dispensing channel is associated with quality problems. Potentially inappropriate medication (PIM) is associated with adverse outcomes in older persons and can be considered a marker for quality deficits in prescribing. We investigated whether prevalence of PIM differs across dispensing channels. Patients and methods: We analyzed basic health insurance claims of 50,747 person quarter years with PIM use of residents of the Swiss cantons Aargau and Lucerne of the years 2012 and 2013. PIM was identified using the Beers 2012 criteria and the PRISCUS list. We calculated PIM prevalence stratified by supply channel. Adjusted mixed effects logistic regression analysis was done to estimate the effect of obtaining medications through the dispensing physician as compared to the pharmacy channel on receipt of PIM. The most frequent PIMs were identified. Results: There is a small but detectable difference in total PIM prevalence: 30.7% of the population supplied by a dispensing physician as opposed to 29.3% individuals who received medication in a pharmacy. According to adjusted logistic regression individuals who obtained the majority of their medications from their prescribing physician had a 15% higher chance to receive a PIM (odds ratio 1.15, 95% confidence interval 1.08–1.22; P<0.001). Conclusion: Physician dispensing seems to affect quality and safety of drug prescriptions. Quality issues should not be neglected in the political discussion about the regulations on PD. Future studies should explore whether PD is related to other indicators of inefficiency or quality flaws. The present study also underlines the need for interventions to reduce the high rates of PIM prescribing in Switzerland.Risk Management and Healthcare Policy 04/2015; 8. DOI:10.2147/RMHP.S78179
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ABSTRACT: The aims of this study were to investigate trends in the prevalence of potentially inappropriate drug use among old people living in geriatric care units in the county of Västerbotten between 2007 and 2013 using six national quality indicators and to assess the impact of medication reviews on those quality indicators. Data were collected concerning potentially inappropriate drug use, function in the activities of daily living (ADL) and cognitive function, using the Multi-Dimensional Dementia Assessment Scale (MDDAS). A comparison was made between the years 2007 and 2013, comprising 2772 and 1902 people, respectively, living in geriatric care in the county of Västerbotten, Sweden. We conducted a parallel investigation of a separate corresponding population in Västerbotten County from 2012, where potentially inappropriate drug use was measured before and after 895 medication reviews which involved a clinical pharmacist. After controlling for age, sex, ADL and cognitive impairment, there was a significant improvement in five out of six quality indicators between 2007 and 2013. While 44 % of the people were exposed to one or more potentially inappropriate medications in 2007, this number had declined to 26 % by 2013. In the separate population from 2012, the frequency of potentially inappropriate drug use was significantly reduced amongst the people who had a medication review performed. The extent of potentially inappropriate drug use declined between 2007 and 2013 according to the quality indicators used. Medication reviews involving clinical pharmacists might be an important factor in reducing potentially inappropriate drug use and improving drug treatment among old people.European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology 02/2015; 71(4). DOI:10.1007/s00228-015-1825-z · 2.70 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The concept of pharmaceutical care is operationalized through pharmaceutical professional services, which are patient-oriented to optimize their pharmacotherapy and to improve clinical outcomes. The objective of this study was to estimate the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) of a medication review with follow-up (MRF) service for older adults with polypharmacy in Spanish community pharmacies against the alternative of having their medication dispensed normally. The study was designed as a cluster randomized controlled trial, and was carried out over a time horizon of 6 months. The target population was older adults with polypharmacy, defined as individuals taking five or more medicines per day. The study was conducted in 178 community pharmacies in Spain. Cost-utility analysis adopted a health service perspective. Costs were in euros at 2014 prices and the effectiveness of the intervention was estimated as quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs). In order to analyze the uncertainty of ICER results, we performed a non-parametric bootstrapping with 5000 replications. A total of 1403 older adults, aged between 65 and 94 years, were enrolled in the study: 688 in the intervention group (IG) and 715 in the control group (CG). By the end of the follow-up, both groups had reduced the mean number of prescribed medications they took, although this reduction was greater in the IG (0.28 ± 1.25 drugs; p < 0.001) than in the CG (0.07 ± 0.95 drugs; p = 0.063). Older adults in the IG saw their quality of life improved by 0.0528 ± 0.20 (p < 0.001). In contrast, the CG experienced a slight reduction in their quality of life: 0.0022 ± 0.24 (p = 0.815). The mean total cost was 977.57 ± 1455.88 for the IG and 1173.44 ± 3671.65 for the CG. In order to estimate the ICER, we used the costs adjusted for baseline medications and QALYs adjusted for baseline utility score, resulting in a mean incremental total cost of - 250.51 ± 148.61 (95 % CI -541.79 to 40.76) and a mean incremental QALY of 0.0156 ± 0.004 (95 % CI 0.008-0.023). Regarding the results from the cost-utility analysis, the MRF service emerged as the dominant strategy. The MRF service is an effective intervention for optimizing prescribed medication and improving quality of life in older adults with polypharmacy in community pharmacies. The results from the cost-utility analysis suggest that the MRF service is cost effective.PharmacoEconomics 03/2015; 33(6). DOI:10.1007/s40273-015-0270-2 · 3.34 Impact Factor