Pharmacy World & Science

, Volume 32, Issue 6, pp 829–834 | Cite as

Introduction of pharmaceutical expertise in a palliative care team in Sweden

  • Barbro Norrström
  • Ing-Britt Cannerfelt
  • Helen Frid
  • Kim Roos
  • Helena RamströmEmail author
Research Article


Objective This paper presents for the first time the inclusion of dispensing pharmacists, a special group of pharmacy professionals, in a Swedish palliative care team. It also presents the drug stock management in the medication room of the clinical area and the improvement of drug logistics. In addition to a dispensing pharmacist, a pharmacist was included in this part of the project as well. Setting The palliative care team at ASIH Långbro Park, Sweden. Method The intervention with the dispensing pharmacists as new members of the interdisciplinary palliative team was evaluated by a questionnaire to the staff. An inventory of the different drugs in stock was performed in March 2006 and in April 2007, respectively. The inventory turnover rate was determined and the drug consumption for the last 6 months of 2005 and 2006, respectively, was also analysed. Main outcome measures The questionnaire used rating scales allowing participants to rate the questions/statements. The number of different drugs and drug packages in stock were recorded during the inventories. Drug costs were calculated and the inventory turnover rate was determined by dividing the annual cost of drugs by the value of the inventory. Drug consumption was analysed using the Xplain statistical programme, a statistical tool from Apoteket AB. Results The overall impression of the dispensing pharmacists was positive. The staff reported advantages in having a dispensing pharmacist present at ASIH not only for the drug logistics, but also for drug-related queries. The inventory of the drug stock and the drug-handling process resulted in a 14% reduction of product numbers and a 36% reduction in the tied-up capital for drugs in stock. The inventory turnover rate increased from 6.7 to 9.5. A 7% reduction of medication costs was also observed when comparing the last 6 months of 2006 with the costs in 2005. Conclusion The principal result of this project is that inclusion of pharmaceutical expertise on a palliative care team can be a valuable asset for the team in pharmaceutical issues and of great benefit for stock management, including cost savings and improvement of drug logistics.


Attitude of health personnel Drug costs Drug storage Interprofessional relations Nurse’s role Palliative care Patient care team Pharmacists Sweden 



The authors gratefully acknowledge the co-operation of the staff at ASIH Långbro Park and at the hospital pharmacy at Karolinska University Hospital, Huddinge, Stockholm. Furthermore, the authors thank Louis Cuccia for valuable linguistic advice.


The authors thank the Swedish Cancer Society, ASIH Långbro Park and Apoteket AB for financial support.

Conflicts of interest



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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barbro Norrström
    • 1
  • Ing-Britt Cannerfelt
    • 1
  • Helen Frid
    • 1
  • Kim Roos
    • 1
  • Helena Ramström
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.ASIH Långbro ParkÄlvsjöSweden
  2. 2.Medical Products AgencyUppsalaSweden

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