Study reveals benefits of clinical medication reviews for improving medication management
Structured and collaborative medication reviews performed by pharmacists and general practitioners are beneficial in improving the quality use of medicines, according to a groundbreaking new review published by Monash University.
Researchers from the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences' Centre for Medicine Use and Safety found that clinical medication reviews (CMRs) resulted in identification of medication-related problems, improved medication adherence and reduced hospitalisations.
Published in respected pharmaceutical research journal Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy, the comprehensive review titled 'Clinical medication review in Australia: a systematic review' demonstrated the value of medication review models that incorporate inter-professional collaboration.
The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) highlighted the importance of the research in a recent announcement, with National President Joe Demarte saying, "This review is landmark in that it provides an overview of the research to date and describes the clinical, humanistic, economic and qualitative benefits of medication reviews." Australia's Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Baggoley AO also highlighted the research as part of his keynote address at the recent PSA 15 conference in Sydney.
The research team was led by Associate Professor Simon Bell and also included Ms Natali Jokanovic, Dr Edwin Tan, Professor Carl Kirkpatrick, Professor Michael Dooley, and Ms Denise van den Bosch.
"Our research showed that clinical medication reviews are capable of improving the quality use of medicines in older Australians. This is an important finding because up to 30 per cent of unplanned hospital admissions among people aged 75 years and older are medicines related," said Associate Professor Bell.
The review identified a lack of awareness of CMRs among eligible non-recipients, including people from indigenous and linguistically diverse communities, recipients of palliative care, people with poor medication adherence and those in rural and remote areas. Addressing these "access gaps" represents an opportunity to further improve the current model for CMRs in Australia, according to the review.
This was the first systematic review of CMR research undertaken in Australia.