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Clinical pharmacy: developing the role of the pharmacists
  1. Lilian Brøndgaard Nielsen,
  2. Thomas Croft Buck
  1. The Pharmacy Department at Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark
  1. Correspondence to Lilian Brøndgaard Nielsen, Sygehusapoteket Aarhus, Horsens department, DK- Sundvej 30. 8700 Horsens. Denmark;

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Clinical pharmacy procedures through which pharmacists assist clinical wards to optimise prescriptions and prevent medication errors have existed in Denmark for about 10 years.

At first only a few pharmacists at different hospitals practised clinical pharmacy. Cooperation among these pioneers was relatively limited because of the diversity of the wards. The area was new and the knowledge of clinical pharmacy was limited, but the enthusiasm for and interest in this area were very high.

The pioneers were successful and the will to prioritise economic resources to clinical pharmacists increased. More pharmacists were assigned to the wards helping to optimise the prescriptions and medication administration. More pharmacists on the wards meant better opportunities for cooperation and exchange of experience.

Financing of clinical pharmacists differed—and still differs—from hospital to hospital. At some hospitals the hospital pharmacy chose to offer clinical pharmacy to the wards free of charge because the pharmacists were able to improve drug usage which was an overall benefit for the hospital. The good results made the hospital's board of directors allocate money to the hospital pharmacy and so the pharmacy could recruit more clinical …

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.