The Hospital La Plana Saves €180,000 ‘Reviewing’ Medication


The center of Vila-real analyzes and updates the treatment to 1,200 patients with polypharmacy.

An analysis of the experience of a Drug Therapy Review Program in the Department of Health has revealed Plana savings of more than 180,000 euros after multidisciplinary review of 1,231 patients with chronic polypharmacy. This activity is framed in REFAR Program of the Directorate General of Pharmacy and Health Products of the Health Department, which took place between February 2012 and May 2013.

This program aims to increase the patient’s safety and efficiency of chronic treatment and improve the treatment adherence and patient knowledge regarding the use and indications of drugs. The criteria for inclusion of patients in the Department of Health of the Flat in the program were over 65 years with more than 5 concurrent chronic treatments.

From there, a pharmacist prescribed medication individually analyzed based on security alerts of the Spanish Agency of Medicines and Health Products (Competent Authority), treatments considered low therapeutic utility, off-label indications, the existence of safer alternatives, more cost effective or more effective and improper duration of treatments among others. This was followed by a personal interview of the patient by nurses, allowing potential problems associated with drug use, such as therapeutic failure or problems with taking medication. Finally, the primary care physician, taking into account the problems identified by nurses and pharmaceutical recommendations took the appropriate decisions.

Out of 1,231 patients included in the program, 1025 have been discontinued treatment in 526 patients, and modified or replaced 436 treatments in 325 patients. Also the highlight was the work of nursing in health education and patient monitoring to increase the adherence to treatment.

Of the changes recorded in chronic treatments, the calculated potential cost savings in one year, taking into account the amount of Defined Daily Dose, which has been estimated at EUR 180,791.80.

This work has been conducted by the pharmaceutical REFAR collaboration with Abucasis Office, the Department of Preventive Medicine and Primary Care Directorate, Department of Health Plana.

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