Pharmacist-led medication reviews in pre-dialysis and dialysis patients

Inge R F van Berlo-van de Laar*, Henk E Sluiter, Esther van 't Riet, Katja Taxis, Frank G A Jansman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
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Background: Pre-dialysis and dialysis patients are at risk for drug related problems (DRPs) due to a high incidence of comorbidities. Pharmacist-led medication reviews might reduce the number of DRPs.

Objectives: The aim of this study was to evaluate pharmacist-led medication reviews in pre-dialysis and dialysis patients by determining the number and type of DRPs, nephrologist acceptance of pharmacist interventions and time investment.

Methods: From September 2017 until December 2018, pharmacist-led medication reviews were performed on pre-dialysis and dialysis patients. DRPs (medication discrepancies, prescribing issues related to drug and dose selection, drug use problems) were identified using the pharmacists' expert opinion and the STOPP/START criteria. Number and type of accepted pharmacist interventions, sustainability of interventions after at least 1 month and time investment were determined. Practical barriers in the process were appraised.

Results: One-hundred twenty five patients were reviewed: 37 pre-dialysis and 88 dialysis patients. In 100 (80%) patients 277 medication discrepancies were identified of which 224 (81%) were accepted by the nephrologist. Pharmacists suggested 422 interventions concerning drug or dose selection for 115 patients; 106 interventions were accepted by the nephrologist, which resulted in 60 patients having medication changed. Ninety percent of those changes remained implemented on follow-up after at least 1 month. In 46 (37%) patients, the clinical pharmacist detected DRPs concerning the drug use process and performed patient counseling. The average time investment was 85 min per patient for the clinical pharmacist and 15 min for the nephrologist. Besides time investment, unclear responsibility for medication management due to multiple prescribers was an important barrier in the process and the main reason for nephrologists to reject pharmacist interventions.

Conclusion: Pharmacist-led medication reviews in pre-dialysis and dialysis patients led to medication changes in half of the patients. However, efficiency should be improved before adopting pharmacist-led medication reviews into clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1718-1723
Number of pages6
JournalResearch in Social and Administrative Pharmacy
Issue number12
Early online date22-Feb-2020
Publication statusPublished - Dec-2020


  • Medication reconciliation
  • Clinical pharmacy service
  • Pharmaceutical care
  • Medication error
  • Dialysis

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