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Front Pharmacol. 2019 Feb 26;10:130. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2019.00130. eCollection 2019.

Using Dispensing Data to Evaluate Adherence Implementation Rates in Community Pharmacy.

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Graduate School of Health, University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia.
Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology, University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia.
Department of Social Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal.


Background: Medication non-adherence remains a significant problem for the health care system with clinical, humanistic and economic impact. Dispensing data is a valuable and commonly utilized measure due accessibility in electronic health data. The purpose of this study was to analyze the changes on adherence implementation rates before and after a community pharmacist intervention integrated in usual real life practice, incorporating big data analysis techniques to evaluate Proportion of Days Covered (PDC) from pharmacy dispensing data. Methods: Retrospective observational study. A de-identified database of dispensing data from 20,335 patients (n = 11,257 on rosuvastatin, n = 6,797 on irbesartan, and n = 2,281 on desvenlafaxine) was analyzed. Included patients received a pharmacist-led medication adherence intervention and had dispensing records before and after the intervention. As a measure of adherence implementation, PDC was utilized. Analysis of the database was performed using SQL and Python. Results: Three months after the pharmacist intervention there was an increase on average PDC from 50.2% (SD: 30.1) to 66.9% (SD: 29.9) for rosuvastatin, from 50.8% (SD: 30.3) to 68% (SD: 29.3) for irbesartan and from 47.3% (SD: 28.4) to 66.3% (SD: 27.3) for desvenlafaxine. These rates declined over 12 months to 62.1% (SD: 32.0) for rosuvastatin, to 62.4% (SD: 32.5) for irbesartan and to 58.1% (SD: 31.1) for desvenlafaxine. In terms of the proportion of adherent patients (PDC >= 80.0%) the trend was similar, increasing after the pharmacist intervention from overall 17.4 to 41.2% and decreasing after one year of analysis to 35.3%. Conclusion: Big database analysis techniques provided results on adherence implementation over 2 years of analysis. An increase in adherence rates was observed after the pharmacist intervention, followed by a gradual decrease over time. Enhancing the current intervention using an evidence-based approach and integrating big database analysis techniques to a real-time measurement of adherence could help community pharmacies improve and sustain medication adherence.


adherence implementation; big database; community pharmacy; dispensing records; medication adherence

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