International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy

, Volume 37, Issue 4, pp 656–668 | Cite as

Pharmacists’ role in handling problems with prescriptions for antithrombotic medication in Belgian community pharmacies

  • S. Desmaele
  • I. De Wulf
  • A. G. Dupont
  • S. SteurbautEmail author
Research Article


Background Community pharmacists have an important task in the follow-up of patients treated with antithrombotics. When delivering these medicines, pharmacists can encounter drug–related problems (DRPs) with substantial clinical and economic impact. Objective To investigate the amount and type of antithrombotic related DRPs as well as how community pharmacists handled these DRPs. Setting Belgian community pharmacies. Methods MSc pharmacy students of six Belgian universities collected data about all DRPs encountered by a pharmacist during ten half days of their pharmacy internship. Data were registered about DRPs detected at delivery and in an a posteriori setting, when consulting the medical history of the patient. Classification of the DRP, cause of the DRP, intervention and result of the intervention were registered. Main outcome measure Amount and type of antotrombitocs related DRPs occurring in community pharmacies, as well as how community pharmacists handled these DRPs. Results 3.1 % of the 15,952 registered DRPs concerned antithrombotics. 79.3 % of these DRPs were detected at delivery and 20.7 % were detected a posteriori. Most antithrombotic-related DRPs concerned problems with the choice of the drug (mainly because of drug–drug interactions) or concerned logistic problems. Almost 80 % of the antithrombotic-related DRPs were followed by an intervention of the pharmacist, mainly at the patient’s level, resulting in 90.1 % of these DRPs partially or totally solved. Conclusion Different DRPs with antithrombotic medication occurred in Belgian community pharmacies. About 20 % was detected in an a posteriori setting, showing the benefit of medication review. Many of the encountered DRPs were of technical nature (60.7 %). These DRPs were time-consuming for the pharmacist to resolve and should be prevented. Most of the DRPs could be solved, demonstrating the added value of the community pharmacist as first line healthcare provider.


Antithrombotic medicines Belgium Drug–related problems Pharmaceutical care Pharmacy practice 



We would like to thank the participating pharmacies and students for their effort. We are also grateful to the department of statistics of APB for providing the raw data for this study.


APB supported this study by providing logistic support for this study and by developing the electronic tool for registration of the DRPs. The primary investigator was supported by an unrestricted grant from Bayer NV-SA.

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interests.


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Copyright information

© Koninklijke Nederlandse Maatschappij ter bevordering der Pharmacie 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Desmaele
    • 1
  • I. De Wulf
    • 2
  • A. G. Dupont
    • 1
  • S. Steurbaut
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Research Group Clinical Pharmacology and Clinical Pharmacy (KFAR), Centre for Pharmaceutical ResearchVrije Universiteit BrusselBrusselsBelgium
  2. 2.Centrum Wetenschappelijke Ontwikkeling voor Apothekers, Algemene Pharmaceutische BondBrusselsBelgium

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