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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 14-20

Cost-saving medication therapy management for outpatients

Department of Clinical Pharmacy, Aster Medcity, Kochi, Kerala, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. K Priya
Department of Clinical Pharmacy, Aster Medcity, South Chittoor P. O., Cheranelloor, Kochi - 682 027, Kerala
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/picr.PICR_164_18

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Objective: Medication costs comprise the majority of health system budgets and continue to increase faster than other health-care expenditures. The objective of this study is to evaluate the causes and monetary value of cost-saving prescription interventions made by clinical pharmacists in outpatient pharmacy. Materials and Methods: Outpatient prescriptions were randomly audited for a period of 11 months (August 2017–June 2018) using a customized outpatient prescription audit tool integrated with computerized physician order entry. Drug-related problems were communicated to respective prescribers, and their response to each intervention was documented in accordance with PCNE classification. Both unit dose cost and anticipated dose cost savings were calculated to evaluate the monetary benefit for patients. Results: Unit dose cost of INR 4875.73 and anticipated dose cost of INR 26890.8 were saved from outpatients. Majority of the prescribing errors were associated with therapeutic duplication (43.4%) and drug interaction (25.7%) that account for anticipated dose cost savings of INR 17812.65 for patients. Major contributory drug classes that reduced the cost of therapy were antibiotics (24.23%), proton-pump inhibitors (13.27%), and analgesics (12.34%). Prescribers' response to pharmacist intervention varied, 53% responded to stop the drug, 21% responded to change the brand, and 20% changed the frequency of administration. Necessary instructions were verbally given to patients without making any modification in the prescription for 3.2% (n = 10) of cost-saving interventions. Discussion and Conclusion: As clinical pharmacist has the expertise to detect, resolve, and prevent medication errors, the development of clinical pharmacy practice in a hospital outpatient pharmacy will have a significant impact on reducing prescription errors and health-care cost also.

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