The four or more medicines (FOMM) support service: Results from an evaluation of a new community pharmacy service aimed at over-65s

Michael J. Twigg, David Wright, Garry R. Barton, Tracey Thornley, Clare Kerr

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Background: 57% of all prescriptions dispensed in the UK in 2003 were for people aged ≥60, where ≥20% of them were prescribed ≥ five medicines. Inappropriate prescribing and non-adherence have a significant impact on hospital admissions and patient quality of life. The English government has identified that community pharmacy could make a significant contribution to reducing non-adherence and improving the quality of prescribing, reducing both hospital admissions and medicines wastage.

Objective: To evaluate a community pharmacy service aimed at patients over the age of 65 years prescribed four or more medicines.

Method: Patients were invited to participate in the service by the community pharmacy team. The pharmacist held regular consultations with the patient and discussed risk of falls, pain management, adherence and general health. They also reviewed the patient’s medication using STOPP/START criteria. Data wereas analysed for the first six months of participation in the service.

Key findings: 620 patients were recruited with 441 (71.1%) completing the six month study period. Pharmacists made 142 recommendations to prescribers in 110 patients largely centred on potentially inappropriate prescribing of NSAIDs, PPIs or duplication of therapy. At follow-up there was a significant decrease in the total number of falls (mean -0.116 (-0.217 - -0.014)) experienced and a significant increase in medicines adherence (mean difference in MMAS-8: 0.513 (0.337 – 0.689)) and quality of life. Cost per QALY estimates ranged from £11,885 to £32,466 depending on the assumptions made.

Conclusion: By focussing on patients over the age of 65 years with four or more medicines, community pharmacists can improve medicines adherence and patient quality of life.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)407–414
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmacy Practice
Issue number6
Early online date6 Apr 2015
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2015


  • Community pharmacy
  • Polypharmacy
  • Falls
  • adherence
  • Quality of Life

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