Clinical pharmacists can reduce drug costs

Dec 23, 2008

Clinical pharmacy services can significantly reduce the cost of prescription drugs and save money elsewhere in the health care system, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

For every dollar spent by hospitals or health systems to provide clinical pharmacy services, $4.81 was saved through lower drug costs, reductions in adverse drug events and medication errors and other savings, says Glen Schumock, associate professor and director of UIC's Center for Pharmacoeconomic Research and senior researcher on the study.

Schumock and his colleagues evaluated 93 studies published between 2001 and 2005 to uncover the impact of clinical pharmacy services, defined as services that involve direct patient care by a clinical pharmacist. Unlike traditional pharmacy services, in which a pharmacist dispenses medications, clinical pharmacists make recommendations to physicians regarding drug therapy or sometimes even help write the prescription.

Clinical pharmacy services in the studies examined were provided in hospitals, community pharmacies, nursing homes and other facilities. Such services have been available since the late 1970s but have only recently become common, Schumock said.

"The expansion of clinical pharmacy services is one potential mechanism that could be more greatly employed to curb the problem of prescription drug spending," he said.

Prescriptions in the United States cost $287 billion in 2007, and the rising cost of drugs is often cited as a problem in the country's health care system. Health care accounted for 16 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product in 2006, costing $2.1 trillion, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

The study is published in the January issue of the journal Pharmacotherapy.

Source: University of Illinois at Chicago

Explore further: New research demonstrates benefits of national and international device registries

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

New UCSF robotic pharmacy aims to improve patient safety

Mar 07, 2011

Although it won't be obvious to UCSF Medical Center patients, behind the scenes a family of giant robots now counts and processes their medications. With a new automated hospital pharmacy, believed to be the nation's most ...

Common bone drugs may reduce colon cancer risk

Feb 16, 2011

An international team of researchers has found that the use of bisphosphonates - drugs already taken by millions of healthy women to prevent bone-loss - for more than one year was associated with a 50 percent reduction in ...

Recommended for you

New approach to particle therapy dosimetry

13 hours ago

Researchers at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), in collaboration with EMRP partners, are working towards a universal approach to particle beam therapy dosimetry.

Supplement maker admits lying about ingredients

Dec 17, 2014

Federal prosecutors say the owner and president of a dietary supplement company has admitted his role in the sale of diluted and adulterated dietary ingredients and supplements sold by his company.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.