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Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2008 Jun;83(6):913-7. doi: 10.1038/clpt.2008.29. Epub 2008 Mar 19.

Integrating family medicine and pharmacy to advance primary care therapeutics.

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Centre for Evaluation of Medicines, St. Joseph's Healthcare, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.


The prevalence of suboptimal prescribing of medications is well documented. Patients are often undertreated or not offered therapeutic treatments that are likely to confer benefit. As a result, drug-related hospital admissions are common and often preventable. Improvements to the health-care system are clearly needed in order to maximize the benefits that can be derived from medications. Many countries are changing their primary health-care systems to improve the quality of health-care delivery. One main transformation is the use of multidisciplinary care teams to provide care in a coordinated manner often from the same location or by using the common medical record of the patients. It has been demonstrated that pharmacists can improve prescribing, reduce health-care utilization and medication costs, and contribute to clinical improvements in many chronic medical conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and psychiatric illness. However, the effect of integrating a pharmacist providing general services into a primary care group has not been extensively studied. The Integrating Family Medicine and Pharmacy to Advance Primary Care Therapeutics (IMPACT) project was designed to provide a real-world demonstration of the feasibility of integrating the pharmacist into primary care office practice. This article provides a description of the IMPACT project participants; the IMPACT practice model and the concepts incorporated in its development; some initial results from the program evaluation; sustainability of the model; and some reflections on the implementation of the practice model.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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