A pharmacist-led pilot program to facilitate deprescribing in a primary care clinic

Published:September 25, 2019DOI:



      To develop and pilot-test a model in which a community-based clinical pharmacist was incorporated as part of a Medicare Annual Wellness Visit (AWV) to make deprescribing recommendations targeted at potentially inappropriate medications (PIMs) in seniors.


      A family medicine patient-centered medical home (PCMH) clinic in Buffalo, NY.

      Practice description

      Implementation and evaluation of a pilot program incorporating a pharmacist-provided medication review targeting PIMs in seniors as part of a Medicare AWV.

      Practice innovation

      A community pharmacy–based clinical pharmacist provided face-to-face medication reviews for patients older than 65 years as part of their AWV with a focus on deprescribing PIMs. No clinical pharmacy service existed at the practice when this program was implemented.


      Identified PIMs, pharmacist recommendations, recommendation acceptance rate, time spent on intervention, health care utilization at 6 months postvisit, and barriers to implementation.


      Of the 21 patients enrolled, 13 unique patients received a total of 20 deprescribing recommendations from the pharmacist. The overall acceptance rate for pharmacist recommendations was 20%. The pharmacist spent a mean (± SD) of 34 (± 6) minutes per patient encounter. One patient in the intervention group was hospitalized, and 1 was seen in the emergency department (ED) during the 6-month follow-up period compared with 1 patient in the control group who had an ED visit. We identified multiple logistical and organizational barriers to the implementation of the intervention.


      In this prospective pilot study, a workflow to include a pharmacist medication review to facilitate deprescribing in the primary care setting was tested. We encountered several barriers to integrating the pharmacist into the AWV workflow to deliver the intervention. Future pragmatic clinical trials are warranted to improve provider awareness and comfort with deprescribing PIMs in seniors.
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      Collin M. Clark, PharmD, BCPS, NRSA T32 Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Primary Care Research Institute, Department of Family Medicine, State University of New York at Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Buffalo, NY


      Susan A. LaValley, PhD, MLS, MA, Research Assistant Professor, Department of Family Medicine, State University of New York at Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Buffalo, NY; At the time of study: NRSA T32 Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Primary Care Research Institute, Department of Family Medicine, State University of New York at Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Buffalo, NY


      Ranjit Singh, MB BChir, MBA, Associate Professor, Vice Chair for Research, and Director, Primary Care Research Institute, Department of Family Medicine, State University of New York at Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Buffalo, NY


      Esra Mustafa, PharmD, BCACP, Care Manager Pharmacist, Millennium Collaborative Care, Buffalo, NY; At the time of study: Clinical Pharmacist, Mobile Pharmacy Solutions, Buffalo, NY


      Scott V. Monte, PharmD, Clinical Assistant Professor, State University of New York at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences and Chief Clinical Officer, Mobile Pharmacy Solutions, Buffalo, NY


      Robert G. Wahler Jr., PharmD, CPE, BCGP, FASCP, Clinical Assistant Professor, State University of New York at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Science, Buffalo, NY and Director, Clinical Pharmacy Services, Niagara Hospice, Lockport, NY