Primary care doctors traditionally provide a longitudinal and holistic view of their patients’ prescriptions, but there are barriers to general practitioners (GPs) carrying out effective reviews in complex patients with polypharmacy. These include unawareness of inappropriate prescribing; fear of the consequences of making changes to prescriptions; lack of self-efficacy (insufficient confidence to make changes); and lack of resources. GPs regularly carry out medication reviews for those taking multiple medicines, often with the support of pharmacists, but report a need for onward referral options to physicians specialising in multimorbidity and polypharmacy.
In partnership with pharmacy colleagues, the authors of this study piloted an outpatient polypharmacy clinic, with the eventual hope of moving towards an integrated service. The pilot demonstrated the feasibility of establishing a specialist service in the secondary care or integrated care setting, dedicated to improving clinical outcomes for those experiencing problematic polypharmacy.
This paper was published in Future Healthcare Journal.