Cost Effectiveness of Advanced Pharmacy Services Provided in the Community and Primary Care Settings: A Systematic Review.

Citation:
Dawoud, D. M., A. Haines, D. Wonderling, J. Ashe, J. Hill, M. Varia, P. Dyer, and J. Bion, "Cost Effectiveness of Advanced Pharmacy Services Provided in the Community and Primary Care Settings: A Systematic Review.", PharmacoEconomics, vol. 37, issue 10, pp. 1241-1260, 2019.

Abstract:

BACKGROUND: Pharmacists working in community and primary care are increasingly developing advanced skills to provide enhanced services, particularly in dealing with minor acute illness. These services can potentially free-up primary care physicians' time; however, it is not clear whether they are sufficiently cost effective to be recommended for wider provision in the UK.

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to review published economic evaluations of enhanced pharmacy services in the community and primary care settings.

METHODS: We undertook a systematic review of economic evaluations of enhanced pharmacy services to inform NICE guidelines for emergency and acute care. The review protocol was developed and agreed with the guideline committee. The National Health Service Economic Evaluation Database, Health Technology Assessment Database, Health Economic Evaluations Database, MEDLINE and EMBASE were searched in December 2016 and the search was updated in March 2018. Studies were assessed for applicability and methodological quality using the NICE Economic Evaluation Checklist.

RESULTS: Of 3124 records, 13 studies published in 14 papers were included. The studies were conducted in the UK, Spain, The Netherlands, Australia, Italy and Canada. Settings included community pharmacies, primary care/general practice surgeries and patients' homes. Most of the studies were assessed as partially applicable with potentially serious limitations. Services provided in community and primary care settings were found to be either dominant or cost effective, at a £20,000 per quality-adjusted life-year threshold, compared with usual care. Those delivered in the patient's home were not found to be cost effective.

CONCLUSIONS: Advanced pharmacy services appear to be cost effective when delivered in community and primary care settings, but not in domiciliary settings. Expansion in the provision of these services in community and primary care can be recommended for wider implementation.