International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy

, Volume 40, Issue 1, pp 101–108 | Cite as

Trends in the medication reviews of community pharmacies in Japan: a nationwide retrospective study

  • Toshihiro KoyamaEmail author
  • Hiroshi Onoue
  • Ayako Ohshima
  • Yuri Tanaka
  • Yasuhisa Tatebe
  • Yoshito Zamami
  • Kazuaki Shinomiya
  • Yoshihisa Kitamura
Research Article


Background The trends in medication reviews made by community pharmacies in Japan are currently unknown. Objective We aimed to comprehensively describe the national trends in medication reviews in Japan’s community pharmacies in the backdrop of the country’s ageing population. Setting Community pharmacies in Japan. Methods We analysed national health insurance claims data for 2010–2015. These data were provided by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare as part of the Survey of Medical Care Activities in Public Health Insurance. Main outcome measures The national trends in community pharmacy visits involving medicine dispensing and medication reviews that involve consultations with a physician. Results Among the 365 million pharmacy visits for 2010–2015, we identified 373,429 medication reviews accompanied by consultations with a physician. The pharmacy visit rate per 1000 population increased from 427.2 in 2010 to 483.7 in 2015. Medication reviews also increased from 407 per million pharmacy visits in 2010 to 1445 in 2015. Among the 373,429 medication reviews during the study period, the prescription was changed through collaboration with a physician 338,982 times (90.4%). The proportion of medication review acceptance increased from 80.6% in 2010 to 94.8% in 2015. The prescription change rate was higher among older patients than among younger ones. Conclusions Medication reviews by community pharmacists involving consultations with a physician increased in Japan from 2010 to 2015, as did prescription changes following these reviews.


Community pharmacy Health insurance claims data Japan Medication review Pharmacist 



We would like to thank Editage ( for English language editing.



Conflicts of interest

The authors have no conflict of interest.


  1. 1.
    Japan Pharmaceutical Association. Future vision of pharmacists [Internet]. 2012 [cited 2017 May 10].
  2. 2.
    The Ministry of Health L and W. Pharmacy Vision for Patient [Internet]. 2015 [cited 2017 May 10].
  3. 3.
    Tatara K, Allin S. Japan: health system review. Health Syst Transit [Internet]. 2009 [cited 2017 May 16];11(5):1–164.
  4. 4.
    Ministry of Health L and W. Annual Health, Labour, and Welfare Report 2015 [Internet]. 2015 [cited 2017 May 16].
  5. 5.
    Boyle S, Mckee M, Allin S, Krasnik A, Marchildon G, Maynard A, et al. United Kingdom (England): health system review. Health Syst Transit [Internet]. 2011 [cited 2017 May 16];13(1):1–486.
  6. 6.
  7. 7.
    Geurts MME, Talsma J, Brouwers JRBJ, de Gier JJ. Medication review and reconciliation with cooperation between pharmacist and general practitioner and the benefit for the patient: a systematic review. Br J Clin Pharmacol [Internet]. 2012 Jul [cited 2017 May 10];74(1):16–33.
  8. 8.
    Kwint H-F, Bermingham L, Faber A, Gussekloo J, Bouvy ML. The relationship between the extent of collaboration of general practitioners and pharmacists and the implementation of recommendations arising from medication review. Drugs Aging [Internet]. 2013 Feb 16 [cited 2017 May 10];30(2):91–102.
  9. 9.
    Blenkinsopp A, Bond C, Raynor DK. Medication reviews. Br J Clin Pharmacol [Internet]. 2012 Oct [cited 2017 May 10];74(4):573–80.
  10. 10.
    Pharmaceutical Care Network Europe. PCNE statement on medication review 2013 [Internet]. 2013 [cited 2017 Sep 4].
  11. 11.
    Kojima T, Mizukami K, Tomita N, Arai H, Ohrui T, Eto M, et al. Screening tool for older persons’ appropriate prescriptions for Japanese: report of the Japan Geriatrics Society Working Group on “guidelines for medical treatment and its safety in the elderly”. Geriatr Gerontol Int [Internet]. 2016 Sep 1 [cited 2017 Sep 5];16(9):983–1001.
  12. 12.
    Plant E, Buckham B, Townley R. Pharmaceutical Society of New Zealand project team. Gen Pract New Zeal [Internet]. [cited 2017 May 15]. File&Folder_id = 86&File = PSNZPharmacistServicesFramework2014FINAL.pdf.
  13. 13.
    Clyne W, Blenkinsopp A SR. A Guide to Medication Review 2008 [Internet]. [cited 2017 May 15].
  14. 14.
    Guidelines for pharmacists providing Home Medicines Review (HMR) services PSA Enabling your future. 2 Guidelines for pharmacists providing Home Medicines Review (HMR) services I Guidelines for pharmacists providinG home medicines review (hmr) services. 2011 [cited 2017 May 15].
  15. 15.
    Burns A. Medication therapy management in pharmacy practice: Core elements of an MTM service model (version 2.0). J Am Pharm Assoc [Internet]. 2008 [cited 2017 May 15];48(3):341–53.
  16. 16.
    MedsCheck—Health Care Professionals—MOHLTC [Internet]. [cited 2017 May 15].
  17. 17.
    Ocampo CC, Garcia-Cardenas V, Martinez-Martinez F, Benrimoj SI, Amariles P, Gastelurrutia MA. Implementation of medication review with follow-up in a Spanish community pharmacy and its achieved outcomes. Int J Clin Pharm [Internet]. 2015 Oct 4 [cited 2017 Apr 24];37(5):931–40.
  18. 18.
    Geurts MME, Stewart RE, Brouwers JRBJ, de Graeff PA, de Gier JJ. Implications of a clinical medication review and a pharmaceutical care plan of polypharmacy patients with a cardiovascular disorder. Int J Clin Pharm [Internet]. 2016 Aug 6 [cited 2017 Apr 20];38(4):808–15.
  19. 19.
    Jokanovic N, Tan EC, Sudhakaran S, Kirkpatrick CM, Dooley MJ, Ryan-Atwood TE, et al. Pharmacist-led medication review in community settings: an overview of systematic reviews. Res Soc Adm Pharm [Internet]. 2016 [cited 2017 Apr 20].
  20. 20.
    Kwint HF, Faber A, Gussekloo J, Bouvy ML. Effects of medication review on drug-related problems in patients using automated drug-dispensing systems. Drugs Aging [Internet]. 2011 Apr [cited 2017 Apr 20];28(4):305–14.
  21. 21.
    Wolf C, Pauly A, Mayr A, Grömer T, Lenz B, Kornhuber J, et al. Pharmacist-led medication reviews to identify and collaboratively resolve drug-related problems in psychiatry—a controlled, clinical trial. In: Davey CG, editor. PLoS One [Internet]. 2015 Nov 6 [cited 2017 May 10];10(11):e0142011.
  22. 22.
    Milos V, Rekman E, Bondesson Å, Eriksson T, Jakobsson U, Westerlund T, et al. Improving the quality of pharmacotherapy in elderly primary care patients through medication reviews: a randomised controlled study. Drugs Aging [Internet]. 2013 Apr 14 [cited 2017 May 10];30(4):235–46.
  23. 23.
    Chau SH, Jansen APD, van de Ven PM, Hoogland P, Elders PJM, Hugtenburg JG. Clinical medication reviews in elderly patients with polypharmacy: a cross-sectional study on drug-related problems in the Netherlands. Int J Clin Pharm [Internet]. 2016 Feb 23 [cited 2017 May 10];38(1):46–53.
  24. 24.
    DS B, Alexander GC, Conti RM, Johnson M, Schumm P, Lindau ST. Use of prescription and over-the-counter medications and dietary supplements among older adults in the United States. JAMA [Internet]. 2008 Dec 24 [cited 2017 May 10];300(24):2867.
  25. 25.
    Pirmohamed M, James S, Meakin S, Green C, Scott AK, Walley TJ, et al. Adverse drug reactions as cause of admission to hospital: prospective analysis of 18 820 patients. BMJ [Internet]. 2004 [cited 2017 May 10];329(7456).
  26. 26.
    Gurwitz JH, Field TS, Harrold LR, Rothschild J, Debellis K, Seger AC, et al. Incidence and preventability of adverse drug events among older persons in the ambulatory setting. JAMA [Internet]. 2003 Mar 5 [cited 2017 May 10];289(9):1107.
  27. 27.
    Ministry of Health L and W. Survey of medical care activities in public health insurance.Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Ahmad OB, Boschi-Pinto C, Lopez AD, Murray CJ, Lozano R, Inoue M. Age standardization of rates: a new WHO standard. [cited 2017 Sep 5].
  29. 29.
    R Core Team. R: a language and environment for statistical computing. [Internet]. Vienna, Austria: R Foundation for Statistical Computing; 2014.
  30. 30.
    Sorensen L, Stokes JA, Purdie DM, Woodward M, Elliott R, Roberts MS. Medication reviews in the community: results of a randomized, controlled effectiveness trial. Br J Clin Pharmacol [Internet]. 2004 Dec [cited 2017 May 10];58(6):648–64.
  31. 31.
    Houle SKD, Grindrod KA, Chatterley T, Tsuyuki RT. Paying pharmacists for patient care: a systematic review of remunerated pharmacy clinical care services. Can Pharm J/Rev des Pharm du Canada [Internet]. 2014 Jul 1 [cited 2017 May 10];147(4):209–32.
  32. 32.
    Guignard B, Bonnabry P, Perrier A, Dayer P, Desmeules J, Samer CF. Drug-related problems identification in general internal medicine: The impact and role of the clinical pharmacist and pharmacologist. Eur J Intern Med [Internet]. 2015 [cited 2017 May 10];26(6):399–406.
  33. 33.
    O’Sullivan D, O’Mahony D, O’Connor MN, Gallagher P, Cullinan S, O’Sullivan R, et al. The impact of a structured pharmacist intervention on the appropriateness of prescribing in older hospitalized patients. Drugs Aging [Internet]. 2014 Jun 6 [cited 2017 May 10];31(6):471–81.
  34. 34.
    Hanlon JT, Schmader KE. The medication appropriateness index at 20: where it started, where it has been, and where it may be going. Drugs Aging [Internet]. 2013 Nov 24 [cited 2017 May 10];30(11):893–900.
  35. 35.
    Fick DM, Cooper JW, Wade WE, Waller JL, Maclean JR, Beers MH. Updating the beers criteria for potentially inappropriate medication use in older adults. Arch Intern Med [Internet]. 2003 Dec 8 [cited 2017 May 10];163(22):2716.
  36. 36.
    Tjia J, Velten SJ, Parsons C, Valluri S, Briesacher BA. Studies to reduce unnecessary medication use in frail older adults: a systematic review. Drugs Aging [Internet]. 2013 May 9 [cited 2017 May 10];30(5):285–307.

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Clinical Pharmacy, Graduate school of Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmaceutical SciencesOkayama UniversityOkayamaJapan
  2. 2.Clinical Pharmacy Education and Research Center, Graduate school of Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmaceutical SciencesOkayama UniversityOkayamaJapan
  3. 3.Department of Pharmaceutical Biomedicine, Graduate School of Medicine, Dentistry, and Pharmaceutical SciencesOkayama UniversityOkayamaJapan
  4. 4.Department of Drug Information, Pharmacy Co., Ltd.HiroshimaJapan
  5. 5.Department of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Institute of Biomedical SciencesTokushima University Graduate SchoolTokushimaJapan
  6. 6.Department of PharmacyOkayama University HospitalOkayamaJapan

Personalised recommendations