The impact of a medication review with follow-up service on hospital admissions in aged polypharmacy patients

Publication Type:
Journal Article
British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, 2016, pp. 831 - 838
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© 2016 The British Pharmacological Society Aims: The aims were to assess the impact of a medication review with follow-up (MRF) service provided in community pharmacy to aged polypharmacy patients on the number of medication-related hospital admissions and to estimate the effect on hospital costs. Methods: This was a sub-analysis of a cluster randomized controlled trials carried out in 178 community pharmacies in Spain. Pharmacies in the intervention group (IG) provided a comprehensive medication review during 6 months. Pharmacists in the comparison group (CG) delivered usual care. For the purposes of this sub-analysis, an expert panel of three internal medicine specialists screened the hospitalizations occurring during the main study, in order to identify medication-related hospitalizations. Inter-rater reliability was measured using Fleiss's kappa. Hospital costs were calculated using diagnosis related groups. Results: One thousand four hundred and three patients were included in the main study and they had 83 hospitalizations. Forty-two hospitalizations (50.6%) were medicine-related, with a substantial level of agreement among the experts (kappa = 0.65, 95% CI 0.52, 0.78, P < 0.01). The number of medication-related hospitalizations was significantly lower in patients receiving MRF (IG 11, GC 31, P = 0.042). The probability of being hospitalized was 3.7 times higher in the CG (odds ratio 3.7, 95% CI 1.2, 11.3, P = 0.021). Costs for a medicine-related hospitalization were €6672. Medication-related hospitalization costs were lower for patients receiving MRF [IG: €94 (SD 917); CG: €301 (SD 2102); 95% CI 35.9, 378.0, P = 0.018]. Conclusion: MRF provided by community pharmacists might be an effective strategy to balance the assurance of the benefit from medications and the avoidance of medication-related hospitalizations in aged patients using polypharmacy.
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