An evaluation of a multi-site community pharmacy based chronic obstructive pulmonary disease support service

David Wright, Michael Twigg, Garry Barton, Tracey Thornley, Clare Kerr

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Background: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a progressive chronic condition which can be effectively managed by smoking cessation, optimising prescribed therapy and providing treatment to prevent chest infections from causing hospitalisation. The government agenda in the UK is for community pharmacists to become involved in chronic disease management and COPD is one area where they are ideally located to provide a comprehensive service.  

Objective: To evaluate the effect of a community pharmacy based COPD service on patient outcomes.  

Method: Patients in one UK location were recruited over a 3 month period to receive a community pharmacy based COPD support service consisting of signposting to or provision of smoking cessation service, therapy optimisation, and recommendation to obtain a rescue pack containing steroid and antibiotic to prevent hospitalisation as a result of chest infection. Data was collected over a six month period for all recruited patients. Appropriate clinical outcomes, patient reported medication adherence, quality of life and NHS resource utilisation were measured.  

Key findings: 306 patients accessed the service and full data to enable comparison before and after was available for 137. Significant improvements in patient reported adherence, utilisation of rescue packs, quality of life and a reduction in routine GP visits were identified. The intervention cost was estimated to be off-set by reductions in the use of other NHS services (GP and A&E visits and hospital admissions).  

Conclusion: Results suggest that the service improved patient medicine taking behaviours and that it was cost-effective.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-43
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmacy Practice
Issue number1
Early online date20 Nov 2014
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2015


  • Community pharmacy
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Adherence
  • Quality of life
  • Economic evaluation

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