Does a primary care practice pharmacist improve the timeliness and completion of medication management reviews?



Mr Christopher R. Freeman, School of Pharmacy, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Qld 4072, Australia.




To describe the effect of integrating a pharmacist into the general practice team on the timeliness and completion of pharmacist-conducted medication reviews.


A pharmacist was integrated into an Australian inner-city suburb general practice medical centre to provide medication reviews for practice patients. A retrospective analysis of medication reviews with two time periods was conducted: pre-integration of the practice pharmacist and post-integration of the practice pharmacist. In an effort to obtain a measure of external validity the data were compared to data from the Division of General Practice in which the medical centre is located.

Key findings

There were 70 patients referred for medication review in the pre-integration phase and 314 patients referred in the post-integration phase. The time to complete the medication review process was significantly reduced from a median of 56 days to 20 days with a practice pharmacist. Prior to having a practice pharmacist 52% of patients did not have the service billed by the general practitioner, which was reduced to 6% during the post-integration phase.


The results from this trial show that the integration of a pharmacist into the general practice team was associated with an increase in the timeliness and completion rate of medication reviews.