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Published on 9 September 2008

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Pharmacists “boost COPD outcomes”

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Clinical pharmacists can greatly improve the quality of life of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to a study revealed at the British Pharmaceutical Conference (BPC) in Manchester.

Pharmacy researchers in Belfast have also shown that the involvement of a clinical pharmacist results in greater cost-effectiveness for the NHS.

Patients also experience 55% fewer hospital admissions and 50% fewer visits to accident and emergency departments, while reporting 81% adherence to medication regimens compared with only 60% in the control group.

Head researcher, Lewis Brien, said: “This study indicates considerable progress in the management of these chronic respiratory diseases.

“It also highlights the fact that more detailed clinical interventions can result in both health and cost benefits – a demonstration of the value and expertise of pharmacists.”

In a separate study of inhaler treatments for patients with asthma and COPD, John Moores University pharmacy researchers in Liverpool found that switching inhaler medicines could result in NHS savings of GBP 5,100 a year.

Two similar and equally effective inhalers are available – the newer Symbicort is not so well-known or prescribed as often as Seratide, but is much cheaper.

Copyright PA Business 2008

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