Pharmacists working in GP surgeries 'could spot prescribing errors, save thousands of euro'

Pharmacists working in GP surgeries 'could spot prescribing errors, save thousands of euro'

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.

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 BMJ Open, 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.

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