Background The supply of medicines by direct distribution to patients discharged from hospital is an important part of health care delivery.
In accordance with law n. 405/2001, in 2004 our hospital began to distribute treatment after discharge. Initially, it established a delivery service for custom packs of drugs, however only a few hospital departments participated in this procedure and not all the patients received the drugs.
At the beginning July 2014 our hospital set up a pharmacy dedicated to hospital discharges.
Purpose To verify the increase in number of hospital departments and patients following this new method of dispensing and the savings gained by distributing the first cycle of treatment.
Material and methods The analysis was performed by comparing drugs supplied in the period July–September 2013 vs. the same period in 2014. We assessed all requests to which the hospital pharmacies responded and the hospital departments that sent them. We also analysed the number of items dispensed and the cost of the drugs. (hospital vs. regional pharmaceutical expenditure).
Results Hospital pharmacies received 311 requests during 2013 vs. 629 in 2014, an increase of 67%. The number of hospital divisions that requested drugs went from 8 to 12.
In all, 1,157 items were supplied vs. 1,595 items, an increase of 58%.
We distributed about 90 active drugs and the drugs most commonly distributed were enoxaparin 15%, pantoprazole 11% and ramipril 7%.
The pharmaceutical cost for the delivery of medicines to citizens was €4,336. An estimated €21,239 was saved comparing with the cost of drugs from community pharmacies (€25,575).
Conclusion The supply of medicines by direct distribution has increased the number of patients receiving the first cycle of treatment.
This method of dispensing is significant not only for cost reduction but above all for the clinical care of the patient and the guarantee of continuity of care between hospital and the surrounding region.
References and/or acknowledgements 1Legge n. 405/2001. Bollettino SIFO 2003;49:43–50
No conflict of interest.
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