Background Pharmacist-led medication reviews have shown to prevent drug-related problems (DRPs). So far, data is rare about the implementation in routine care, the conditions for intensifying this service and the practical skills of community pharmacists to perform medication reviews. Objective To assess the current status of medication review implementation in German community pharmacies and the performance of identifying DRPs in a ficticious patient example. Setting German community pharmacies. Method An online survey was conducted from July to September 2015 including questions about medication reviews currently performed in routine care of community pharmacies and hidden DRPs in a ficticious patient example. Pharmacists were invited via newsletters from three local chambers of pharmacists. Main outcome measure (i) Frequency, conditions for implementation, and criteria of medication reviews currently being performed in routine care, (ii) requested further information to perform medication reviews, and (iii) proportion of pharmacists who identify DRPs in the patient example. Results A total of 143 community pharmacists completed the questionnaire. (i) One hundred and twenty-seven respondents (89 %) reported reviewing the medication regularly in routine care, whereas 56 (39 %) stated that they performed medication reviews between one and five times monthly. For 124 pharmacists (87 %), remuneration would be a necessary condition for performing medication reviews more frequently. When reviewing the medication, 112 (78 %) of the pharmacists considered the criterion ‘drug–drug interactions’ and 107 (75 %) reviewed the criterion ‘correct dosage’. One of the least reviewed criteria was ‘effectiveness of medication’ [22 (16 %)]. (ii) According to the participants, laboratory values should be available in the community pharmacy, since 87/143 (61 %) would appreciate the GFR and the HbA1c level. Twenty-two of 54 respondents (41 %) would appreciate further administration instructions and 5 of 54 (15 %) think they would benefit from information about the recommended duration of drug use. (iii) Depending on the category, 4 (3 %) to 49 (34 %) of all 143 pharmacists identified the hidden DRP in the patient example. Conclusion German community pharmacists reported reviewing the medication of their patients regularly; however, most of the respondents review the medication very rarely in routine care. Consequently, their practical performance needs to be improved.
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We would like to thank the community pharmacists for participating and the Baden-Württemberg, the Westphalia-Lippe, and the Saxon Local Chamber of Pharmacists for supporting this project. We would like to thank Manuela and John O’Hanlon and Lena Schrader for their language proof of the manuscript and Benjamin R. Auer for the statistical counselling.
This study was supported by the Baden-Württemberg Chamber of Pharmacists.
Conflicts of interest
All Authors and acknowledged persons declare that they have no conflict of interest concerning this paper.
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