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Julian Harrison Pharmacy2U, the UK’s largest online pharmacy, and the London School of Pharmacy have launched a three-year study to investigate whether pharmacy-led interventions can improve medication compliance among patients with chronic conditions.

The joint project – co-funded by Pharmacy2U and the London School of  Pharmacy – will be the first to use a randomised-controlled trial to measure the impact of pharmacy-led interventions on this group of patients.  It will test the impact of the interventions on:rn

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  • Patients’ adherence to their medication regime
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  • Health outcomes for a specific disease group
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  • Hospitalisation levels and costs
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rnPatients will be recruited from existing customers of Pharmacy2U. Different interventions will be offered and compared to a group of patients who choose to have no interventions:rn

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  • A pharmacist telephone interview and follow-up contacts with the patient to assess adherence, medication-related problems/concerns, and information needs.
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  • A telephone or email prescription reminder service, to prompt patients to renew their prescriptions and avoid running out of medication.   This is an existing service offered by Pharmacy2U.
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rnThe successful interventions will be taken to phase two of the study, where they will be used with patients from one disease group, and appropriate health outcomes will be measured (e.g. blood sugar levels, peak flow).

The study will be led by Professor Nick Barber, Professor of the Practice of Pharmacy at the School of Pharmacy, University of London. Professor Barber led the research behind the development of the recently-launched New Medicines Service and has a special interest in the development and evaluation of services to improve adherence.

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“This is a significant piece of research that will test the hypothesis that appropriately designed and timely pharmacy interventions can improve chronic patients’ compliance with their medication and, as a result, improve their health and save the NHS money by reducing use of healthcare services. We have a long running programme of research into the growing role of technology in novel forms of health delivery, and this work with Pharmacy2U provides an exciting extension of that work.”

rnDr Julian Harrison, Commercial Director of Pharmacy2U, said:rn

“As an innovative pharmacy provider, we are passionate about the profession’s role in improving patient care.While we already have anecdotal evidence about the positive impact of our existing services such as the repeat prescription reminder service on compliance, we wanted to put the theory to the test through a robust, independent study. We are delighted to be working with Professor Barber, who is pre-eminent in this field, and we are very excited about the potential for this project.”

rnThe study will be co-supervised by Professor Theo Raynor, Professor of Pharmacy Practice at the University of Leeds. The PhD researcher will be Imogen Lyons, who holds an MSc in Public Health from the University of Edinburgh and a BA in Psychology from University College, Dublin.