Impact of pharmacist recommendations on the cost of drug therapy in icu patients at a Malaysian hospital
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Objectives: To analyse clinical pharmacists interventions in the ICU of the Penang General Hospital (Penang, Malaysia) and to assess the pharmaco-economic impact of these interventions.Methods: A clinical pharmacist reviewed drug prescriptions during one month. Drug-related problems were documented on a preprepared form including a suggestion for a change in prescribing. Such recommendations were submitted to the nursing/medical staff. Acceptance of the recommendation was entirely at the discretion of the medical staff. All recommendations were analysed with respect to potential pharmaco-economic impact: cost savings, cost avoidance or cost addition.Results: The ICU pharmacist made 57 recommendations, of which the medical staff rejected only 5%. The majority of detected drug-related problems referred to unnecessary drug therapy (37%). Recommendations resulted in net cost savings of RM 15,227 (USD 4,007). This corresponded with RM 634 per patient intervened by the pharmacist. Conclusion: Pharmacists interventions in the ICU of a Malaysian hospital resulted in significant cost savings in terms of drug expenses and can therefore be suggested as a routine practice in our hospital.
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