Economic Evaluation of Hospital and Community Pharmacy Services

Todd Gammie, Sabine Vogler, Zaheer Ud Din Babar

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To review the international body of literature from 2010 to 2015 concerning methods of economic evaluations used in hospital- and community-based studies of pharmacy services in publicly funded health systems worldwide, their clinical outcomes, and economic effectiveness. Data Sources: The literature search was undertaken between May 2, 2015, and September 4, 2015. Keywords included “health economics” and “evaluation” “assessment” or “appraisal,” “methods,” “hospital” or “community” or “residential care,” “pharmacy” or “pharmacy services” and “cost minimisation analysis” or “cost utility analysis” or “cost effectiveness analysis” or “cost benefit analysis.” The databases searched included MEDLINE, PubMed, Google Scholar, Science Direct, Springer Links, and Scopus, and journals searched included PLoS One, PLoS Medicine, Nature, Health Policy, Pharmacoeconomics, The European Journal of Health Economics, Expert Review of Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research, and Journal of Health Economics. Study Selection and Data Extraction: Studies were selected on the basis of study inclusion criteria. These criteria included full-text original research articles undertaking an economic evaluation of hospital- or community-based pharmacy services in peer-reviewed scientific journals and in English, in countries with a publicly funded health system published between 2010 and 2015. Data Synthesis: 14 articles were included in this review. Cost-utility analysis (CUA) was the most utilized measure. Cost-minimization analysis (CMA) was not used by any studies. The limited use of cost-benefit analyses (CBAs) is likely a result of technical challenges in quantifying the cost of clinical benefits, risks, and outcomes. Hospital pharmacy services provided clinical benefits including improvements in patient health outcomes and reductions in adverse medication use, and all studies were considered cost-effective due to meeting a cost-utility (per quality-adjusted life year) threshold or were cost saving. Community pharmacy services were considered cost-effective in 8 of 10 studies. Conclusions: Economic evaluations of hospital and community pharmacy services are becoming increasingly commonplace to enable an understanding of which health care services provide value for money and to inform policy makers as to which services will be cost-effective in light of limited health care resources.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-65
Number of pages12
JournalAnnals of Pharmacotherapy
Issue number1
Early online date1 Sep 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017
Externally publishedYes


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