Pharmacists who prescribe found to be effective, safe in long-term care

Pharmacists allowed to prescribe medications to patients in long-term care facilities helped reduce drug burdens, according to a U.K. study published Feb. 14 in The BMJ

Between 2018 and 2020, the drug burdens of anticholinergics and sedatives were lessened by about a fifth because pharmacists prescribed treatments, the research — which involved 72 care homes, 49 clinical pharmacists and 876 patients — found. 

The main goal from the study was to evaluate if these interventions led to a decrease in falls, but that primary endpoint was not met. 

These drug burdens are connected with "increased mortality, falls, hip fractures, frailty and reduced quality of life," according to the study's conclusion. "Thus, the significant reduction in [drug burdens] observed should predict improved outcomes for residents."

The authors wrote that this data is based on a six-month follow-up while the drug burden measuring tool requires 12 months, which could limit the results. 

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