Economic evaluation of pharmacy services: a systematic review of the literature (2016–2020)

Wiraphol Phimarn, Kritsanee Saramunee, Areeut Leelathanalerk, Pornchanok Srimongkon, Suratchada Chanasopon, Panumart Phumart, Pawich Paktipat, Zaheer Babar

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Economic evaluation is crucial for healthcare decision-makers to select effective interventions. An updated systematic review of the economic evaluation of pharmacy services is required in the current healthcare environment.

To conduct a systematic review of literature on economic evaluation of pharmacy services.

Literature (2016–2020) was searched on PubMed, Web of Sciences, Scopus, ScienceDirect, and SpringerLink. An additional search was conducted in five health economic-related journals. The studies performed an economic analysis describing pharmacy services and settings. The reviewing checklist for economic evaluation was used for quality assessment. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio and willingness-to-pay threshold were the main measures for cost-effective analysis (CEA) and cost-utility analysis (CUA), while cost-saving, cost–benefit-ratio (CBR), and net benefit were used for cost-minimization analysis (CMA) and cost–benefit analysis (CBA).

Forty-three articles were reviewed. The major practice settings were in the USA (n = 6), the UK (n = 6), Canada (n = 6), and the Netherlands (n = 6). Twelve studies had good quality according to the reviewing checklist. CUA was used most frequently (n = 15), followed by CBA (n = 12). Some inconsistent findings (n = 14) existed among the included studies. Most agreed (n = 29) that pharmacy services economically impact the healthcare system: hospital-based (n = 13), community pharmacy (n = 13), and primary care (n = 3). Pharmacy services were found to be cost-effectiveness or cost-saving among both developed (n = 32) and in developing countries (n = 11).

The increased use of economic evaluation of pharmacy services confirms the worth of pharmacy services in improving patients’ health outcomes in all settings. Therefore, economic evaluation should be incorporated into developing innovative pharmacy services.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1326-1348
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Journal of Clinical Pharmacy
Issue number6
Early online date26 May 2023
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023


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