Community pharmacists can improve medicine compliance and patient quality of life by focusing on patients over the age of 65 years who are taking four or more medicines, an English study has found.
The study, The four or more medicines (FOMM) support service: results from an evaluation of a new community pharmacy service aimed at over-65s, published in the International Journal of PHarmacy Practice, highlights that inappropriate prescribing and non-adherence have significant impacts on both quality of life and hospital admissions.
The English Government had identified that community pharmacy could make a significant contribution to lowering this non-compliance and improving the quality of prescribing. This could reduce hospital admissions and waste of medicines.
Patients were invited to participate in the service by the community pharmacy team; they had regular consultations with their pharmacist and discussed risks including falls, pain management, adherence and general health issues.
The pharmacists reviewed the patients’ medication.
620 patients were recruited, and just over 70% completed the six-month study period; the pharmacists made 142 recommendations to prescribers regarding 110 patients, mostly around potentially inappropriate prescribing of NSAIDs, PPIs or duplication of therapy.
At follow-up, there was a significant decrease in the total number of falls experienced and a significant increase in medicine adherence and quality of life.