Background: Traditional systems of managing repeat prescribing have been criticised for their lack of clinical and administrative controls. Aim. To compare a community pharmacist-managed repeat prescribing system with established methods of managing repeat prescribing.
Method: A randomised controlled intervention study (19 general medical practices, 3074 patients, 62 community pharmacists). Patients on repeat medication were given sufficient three-monthly scripts, endorsed for monthly dispensing, to last until their next clinical review consultation with their general practitioner (GP). The scripts were stored by a pharmacist of the patient's choice. Each monthly dispensing was authorised by the pharmacist, using a standard protocol. The cost of the drugs prescribed and dispensed was calculated. Data on patient outcomes were obtained from pharmacist-generated patient records and GP notes.
Results: A total of 12.4% of patients had compliance problems, side-effects, adverse drug reactions, or drug interactions identified by the pharmacist. There were significantly more problems identified in total in the intervention group. The total number of consultations, deaths, and non-elective hospital admissions was the same in both groups. Sixty-six per cent of the study patients did not require their full quota of prescribed drugs, representing 18% of the total prescribed costs (estimated annual drug cost avoidance of £43 per patient).
Conclusion: This system of managing repeat prescribing has been demonstrated to be logistically feasible, to identify clinical problems, and to make savings in the drugs bill.
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||British Journal of General Practice|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Apr 2000|
- Prescribing costs
- Repeat prescribing