Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
Rodgers, S and Avery, AJ and Meechan, D and Briant, S and Geraghty, M and Doran, K and Whynes, DK;
British Journal of General Practice
Controlled trial of pharmacist intervention in general practice: the effect on prescribing costs
Optional Fields
Background. It has been suggested that the employment of pharmacists in general practice might moderate the growth in prescribing costs. However, empirical evidence for this proposition has been lacking. We report the results of a controlled trial of pharmacist intervention in United Kingdom general practice, Aim. To determine whether intervention practices made savings relative to controls. Method. An evaluation of an initiative set up by Doncaster Health Authority. Eight practices agreed to fake part and received intensive input from five pharmacists for one year (September 1996 to August 1997) at a cost of pound 163 000. Changes in prescribing patterns were investigated by comparing these practices with eight individually matched controls for both the year of the intervention and the previous year. Prescribing data (PACTLINE) were used to assess these changes. The measures used to take account of differences in the populations of the practices included the ASTRO-PU for overall prescribing and the STAR-PU for prescribing in specific therapeutic areas. Differences between intervention and control practices were subjected to Wilcoxon matched-pairs, signed-ranks tests. Results. The median (minimum to maximum) rise in prescribing costs per ASTRO-PU was pound 0,85 (-pound 1.95 to pound 2.05) in the intervention practices compared with pound 2.55 (pound 1.74 to pound 4.65) in controls (P=0.025). Had the cost growth of the intervention group been as high as that of the controls, their total prescribing expenditure would have been around pound 347 000 higher. Conclusion, This study suggests that the use of pharmacists did control prescribing expenditure sufficiently to offset their employment costs.
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