Pharmacists working directly in GP surgeries could spot prescribing errors and save tens of thousands of euro for patients and the taxpayer, according to new research.
A study, whereby pharmacists were embedded within GP practices, found 786 patients with 1,521 prescribing issues, almost 60% of which related to high-risk or potentially inappropriate prescribing.
It also found that "Medication changes made during the study equated to approximately €57,000 in cost savings, assuming they persisted for 12 months."
The study, 'Evaluation of the General Practice Pharmacist (GPP) intervention to optimise prescribing in Irish primary care: a non-randomised pilot study', was carried out by an eight-person team on behalf of the General Practice Pharmacist (GPP) Study Group.
It was also the first study examining the role of GP-based pharmacists in Ireland and the feasibility of evaluating this role.
The research, published by, saw a pharmacist join the practice team in four general practices for six months from September 2017 to March 2018 at 10 hours per week, undertaking face-to-face or chart-based medication reviews for adult patients, providing prescribing advice, supporting clinical audits and facilitating practice-based education.