OBJECTIVES: Medication errors that lead to adverse drug reactions are a key cause of unintentional patient harm and subsequent economic burden. To prevent this, measurement of renal function could be considered. The aim of this study was to determine the budget impact of obtaining and evaluating renal function in community pharmacies in the Netherlands to prevent antibiotic-related hospitalizations.
METHODS: A decision model was built to simulate the process of antibiotic prescriptions in community pharmacies with and without the use of a point-of-care test (PoCT) in patients aged 65 years and older. By using a PoCT, the number of patients with renal function values available increases, leading to the possibility of dose adjustment when necessary. In turn, this might avoid hospitalizations. For this study, real-life patient data were used from 351 community pharmacies. Direct costs of renal function screening, antibiotic treatments, and medical care due to antibiotic-related hospitalization were included.
RESULTS: The budget impact analysis showed annual cost-savings of €86 per patient through the availability of renal function values in Dutch community pharmacies. Savings were mostly due to avoided hospitalizations.
CONCLUSION: Obtaining and evaluating renal function in community pharmacies by point of care tests is expected to be cost-saving in the Netherlands.