Economic effects of pharmacists on health outcomes in the United States: A systematic review

Chisholm-Burns, Marie A.; Zivin, Joshua S. Graff; Lee, Jeannie Kim; Spivey, Christina A.; Slack, Marion; Herrier, Richard N.; Hall-Lipsy, Elizabeth; Abraham, Ivo; Palmer, John
October 2010
American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy;10/1/2010, Vol. 67 Issue 19/20, p1624
Academic Journal
Purpose. A systematic review examining the economic effects of pharmacist-provided direct patient care on health outcomes in the United States was conducted. Methods. A comprehensive literature search was conducted using 13 academic and medical databases. Studies were included in the analysis if they described pharmacist-provided direct patient care, used comparison groups, evaluated economic outcomes, and were conducted in the United States. Outcome results were categorized as (1) favorable, indicating significant improvement as a result of pharmacists' interventions or services, (2) not favorable, indicating significant improvement as a result of nonpharmacist care, (3) mixed, having favorable results on one measure of a study variable but not favorable results or no effect on another, (4) having no effect, indicating no significant difference between pharmacists' interventions or services and the comparison, or (5) unclear, indicating the outcome could not be determined based on presented data. Results. Of the 56,573 citations considered, a total of 126 studies met the criteria for inclusion in this systematic review. Results favoring pharmacist-provided care were found in 20 studies (15.9%), mixed results were seen in 53 studies (42.1%), no effect was found in 6 studies (4.8%), and unclear results were found in 47 studies (37.3%). Conclusion. A majority of studies examining the economic effects of pharmacist-provided direct patient care in the United States were limited by their partial cost analyses, study design, and other analysis considerations. A majority of the 20 studies that found positive economic benefits examined pharmacists' interventions involving technical methods or multimodal approaches.


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