International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy

, Volume 39, Issue 6, pp 1220–1227 | Cite as

Quality of prescribing in community-dwelling elderly patients in France: an observational study in community pharmacies

  • E. BourcierEmail author
  • F. Mille
  • V. Brunie
  • V. Korb-Savoldelli
  • C. Lafortune
  • M. Buyse
  • C. Fernandez
  • P. Hindlet
Research Article


Background In order to ensure safer prescriptions in the elderly, lists of potentially inappropriate medications (PIMs) and guidelines have been introduced. Whereas the effectiveness of these measures has been well studied in hospitals, data are sparse for the community-dwelling patients. Objective To assess the quality of prescriptions among community-dwelling elderly patients, and potential associations between prescription patterns, patient characteristics and medication adherence. Setting Community pharmacies in France. Method We conducted a prospective observational study between January and June 2013. Patients aged 75 and over coming to the community pharmacy with a prescription from a general practitioner were invited to participate to the study. The compliance of the prescription was assessed with regards to Beers Criteria and French Health Authority guidelines (FHA) for prescription in the elderly, the degree of adherence was assessed with the Girerd score. Main outcome measure Percentage of prescriptions compliant with Beers Criteria and FHA guidelines. Results Among the 1206 prescriptions analysed, 67.49% (n = 814) contained a PIM. Only 12.77% (n = 154) complied with mandatory requirements of the FHA. Prescriptions were ordered by therapeutic field in 51.24% (n = 618) of cases. Dosing regimen was incomplete in 57.21% (n = 690) of prescriptions. Only 29.19% (n = 352) of patients reported no difficulty with regard to adherence (Girerd score = 0). The use of International Non-proprietary Name was associated with an increased risk of nonadherence (adjusted OR = 1.59 [95% CI = 1.13–2.23] and 1.68 [95% CI = 1.12–2.49] respectively). Patient satisfaction with formulation was associated with a lower risk of non-adherence (adjusted OR = 0.63 [95% CI = 0.45–0.90]). Conclusion A substantial proportion of patients are exposed to PIMs and prescriptions that do not comply with the FHA Guidelines. This issue, as well as identified risk factors for non-adherence, should be taken into consideration by general practitioners and community pharmacists when prescribing/dispensing medications to the elderly.


Aged Community pharmacy Drug utilization review France Medication adherence Potentially inappropriate medication 



The authors would like to thank all community pharmacists and pharmacy students who contributed to this research. The authors would also like to thank patients who agreed to be interviewed for the purpose of this study. The kind assistance of Stella Ghouti for the proofreading and corrections of the English is gratefully acknowledged.


This research received no grant.

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

11096_2017_531_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (102 kb)
Standardized questionnaire used to collect data and assess medication adherence


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculté de PharmacieUniversité Paris-SudChatenay-MalabryFrance
  2. 2.Service de PharmacieAssistance Publique - Hôpitaux de Paris, Hôpital Saint-AntoineParisFrance
  3. 3.Service de PharmacieAssistance Publique - Hôpitaux de Paris, Hôpital Emile RouxLimeil-BrévannesFrance
  4. 4.Service de PharmacieAssistance Publique - Hôpitaux de Paris, Hôpital Européen Georges PompidouParisFrance
  5. 5.Sorbonne Universités, UPMC Univ Paris 06, INSERM, Institut Pierre Louis d’épidémiologie et de Santé Publique (IPLESP UMRS 1136)ParisFrance

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