Qualitative study of medication review in Flanders, Belgium among community pharmacists and general practitioners

Abstract

Objective Examining the implementation barriers and facilitators of this service as provided by Belgian community pharmacists in collaboration with general practitioners. Setting Community pharmacies in Flanders. Method Qualitative study through interviews of pharmacists and general practitioners. Main outcome measure Opinions and experiences of pharmacists and general practitioners about type 3 medication review. Results Sixteen community pharmacists and thirteen general practitioners were interviewed and generally gave a positive assessment of the project. The general practitioners saw the pharmaceutical and pharmacotherapeutic recommendations of the pharmacists as an added value for the patients. The pharmacists indicated that performing an medication review was time-consuming, but that it improved their professional relationship with general practitioners and patients. They reported obstacles in obtaining information: cumbersome access to individual patient data (laboratory values) and difficulties in finding and choosing adequate medical information sources. Moreover, pharmacists indicated that there is a need for adequate reimbursement and additional training to make the implementation sustainable. Conclusion Both pharmacists and general practitioners were enthusiastic about medication reviews. The implementation improved the interprofessional collaboration. However, important barriers remain, such as the considerable investment of time and the difficulty in gathering all the necessary information. The sustainable implementation of type 3 medication review in Belgium requires adequate reimbursement and additional training.

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Acknowledgements

We would like to thank all local pharmacists and GPs who participated in this study and Bronwen Martin for her critical reading of the manuscript.

Funding

This work was supported by the Royal Pharmacists Association of Antwerp (KAVA).

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest related to this study.

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Correspondence to Anneleen Robberechts.

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Robberechts, A., De Petter, C., Van Loon, L. et al. Qualitative study of medication review in Flanders, Belgium among community pharmacists and general practitioners. Int J Clin Pharm (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11096-020-01224-9

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Keywords

  • Belgium
  • Community pharmacy services
  • General practitioners
  • Medication review
  • Pharmaceutical services
  • Pharmacists
  • Qualitative research