International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy

, Volume 36, Issue 3, pp 630–635 | Cite as

Large scale implementation of clinical medication reviews in Dutch community pharmacies: drug-related problems and interventions

  • Thomas G. H. KempenEmail author
  • Caroline H. P. A. van de Steeg-van Gompel
  • Petra Hoogland
  • Yuqian Liu
  • Marcel L. Bouvy
Research Article



Research on the benefits of clinical medication reviews (CMRs) performed by pharmacists has been conducted mostly in controlled settings and has been widely published. Less is known of the effects after large scale implementation in community pharmacies. An online CMR tool enabled the systematic registration of drug-related problems (DRPs) and implemented interventions derived from CMRs in daily practice.


To describe the effects of CMRs on pharmacy practice after large-scale implementation in the Netherlands.


268 community pharmacies. Pharmacists were trained on CMRs with a patient centred approach.


Retrospective analyses of DRPs, pharmacists’ proposals and implemented interventions recorded between January 1st and September 1st 2012.

Main outcome measure

Frequencies of DRPs, intervention proposals, implemented interventions, and drugs involved.


4,579 CMRs were analysed. On average 2.9 (SD 2.1) DRPs per review were identified. 4,123 (31 %) of the DRPs led to medication changes. Stopping a drug (16 %) was more frequent than starting a drug (8.1 %). Drugs related to cardiovascular risk management, diabetes and osteoporosis were most frequently involved.


This study is the largest analysis of pharmacists-initiated CMRs in the Netherlands to date. The findings demonstrate the potential to reduce medication-related errors through pharmacist involvements in complex pharmacotherapy and the positive impact on the quality of drug therapy through making necessary medication changes. The data also support the need for large-scale implementation of pharmacists-initiated CMRs in the presence of proper training programmes.


Clinical medication review Drug-related problems Pharmaceutical care Pharmacy practice Pharmacist The Netherlands 



The authors would like to thank all pharmacists for their efforts in recording all outcomes in the SAMRT. Also, we would like to thank all the staff from Stevenshof Institute for Research, Utrecht University and Service Apotheek who have contributed to this study. Finally, we would like to thank David Preece for his valuable input as a native speaker.


The study was funded by Nederlandse Service Apotheek Beheer BV (SA).

Conflicts of interest

PH was employed by SA. SA provided the raw data and objective information regarding the SAMRT, but both PH and SA were not involved in the selection and the interpretation of the results for this manuscript. Other authors have no competing interests.


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Copyright information

© Koninklijke Nederlandse Maatschappij ter bevordering der Pharmacie 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas G. H. Kempen
    • 1
    Email author
  • Caroline H. P. A. van de Steeg-van Gompel
    • 2
  • Petra Hoogland
    • 3
  • Yuqian Liu
    • 4
  • Marcel L. Bouvy
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Clinical Pharmacology, Department of Pharmaceutical SciencesUtrecht UniversityUtrechtThe Netherlands
  2. 2.SIR Institute for Pharmacy Practice and PolicyLeidenThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Nederlandse Service Apotheek Beheer BVEnterThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Philadelphia College of PharmacyPhiladelphiaUSA

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