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Objective

To determine if a pharmacist-initiated multidisciplinary strategy provides value for money compared to usual care in participants with previously undiagnosed knee osteoarthritis.

Methods

Pharmacies were randomly allocated to provide either 1) usual care and a pamphlet or 2) intervention care, which consisted of education, pain medication management by a pharmacist, physiotherapy-guided exercise, and communication with the primary care physician. Costs and quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) were determined for patients assigned to each treatment and incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs) were determined.

Results

From the Ministry of Health perspective, the average patient in the intervention group generated slightly higher costs compared with usual care. Similar findings were obtained when using the societal perspective. The intervention resulted in ICERs of $232 (95% confidence interval [95% CI] −1,530, 2,154) per QALY gained from the Ministry of Health perspective and $14,395 (95% CI 7,826, 23,132) per QALY gained from the societal perspective, compared with usual care.

Conclusion

A pharmacist-initiated, multidisciplinary program was good value for money from both the societal and Ministry of Health perspectives.