What is it about?

Our study proposes the contribution of pharmaceutical care to the safety of pharmacotherapy in hospitalized older people. Our results indicate a possible association between polypharmacy and the development of adverse drug events and medication errors. However, we show that pharmaceutical care (as part of the multidisciplinary team) contributed to the discontinuation of unnecessary medications and promoted improvements in the geriatric scenario.

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Why is it important?

The interventions to optimize drug use, with most described involving a multidisciplinary team, provide benefits that overcome their implementation costs. An integrated work environment with interprofessional decision-making structure has been positively associated with greater quality of service, user satisfaction and safety. On the other hand, the inadequate connection between the services existing in the health system, as well as between their providers, causes up to 70% of the errors that lead to adverse events. Therefore, it is necessary to have articulation in the health system, encouraging teamwork, communication and person-centered care. The World Alliance’s Third Global Patient Safety Challenge (Medication Without Harm) aims to optimize the prescribing, distribution and use of medicines and raise awareness of the threat of misuse. Consequently, World Health Organization calls for the commitment of public health worldwide to implement knowledge, attitudes and tools capable of reducing the morbimortality induced by pharmacotherapy. Older people are more susceptible to these events, given the search for treatments for the multiple chronic-degenerative diseases that develop in this age group. In view of the spread of adverse drug events and increased longevity, which suggests that the older people will represent the majority of the population in the future, so an epidemic of adverse events is predicted. Therefore, it is proposed that pharmaceutical care is an important support for the multidisciplinary team to avoid this worrying scenario. Pharmaceutical care is based on person-centered care, meeting the population’s health needs, health promotion, protection and recovery. Pharmaceutical care services aim to prevent and solve problems related to pharmacotherapy, promoting accountability, in a pact with the patient and the health team, also providing effectiveness and safety of the drug and the desired therapeutic outcome. Scientific evidence attests that pharmaceutical care improves clinical outcomes and increases the quality of life of users, as well as reducing the rate of use of services and health expenses.


Our study presents implications for clinical practice, since pharmaceutical care has a recognized potential to promote the proper use of medication and improve the quality of life of people assisted. The study includes all priority areas of the global challenge of the World Alliance for Patient Safety, through which the World Health Organization encourages the conduct of research aimed at the dissemination of strategies for safety in the use of medication. Our study has the potential to become a reference for multidisciplinary learning by adopting evidence-based principles of health practice and by emphasizing the articulation of professionals in the system. Finally, there are implications for interdisciplinary practice, since pharmaceutical care promotes services (e.g.: pharmacotherapeutic follow-up, medication reconciliation and pharmacotherapy review) that are important support for other professionals. Teamwork and conduct based on shared decisions favor the provision of more humanized and qualified health care.

Alan de Oliveira
School of Pharmaceutical Sciences of Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Contribution of Pharmaceutical Care to Person-centered Health Care and the Safety of Pharmacotherapy for Hospitalized Older Individuals in Brazil: An Investigative Single-arm Intervention Trial, Current Drug Safety, May 2023, Bentham Science Publishers,
DOI: 10.2174/1574886317666220614140433.
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