Background The need to improve medicines management at the interface of hospital and primary care is generally acknowledged. But knowledge of good practise on how to bridge that gap is scant.
Purpose To learn about existing policies, mechanisms and measures of cooperation between the hospital and primary sector (hereafter called interface management).
Materials and Methods A survey was performed with the PHIS (Pharmaceutical Pricing and Reimbursement Information) network comprising competent authorities for pharmaceutical pricing and reimbursement as well as hospital pharmacists from 27 countries (25 EU Member States, Norway and Turkey). PHIS network members were asked to inform in writing, preferably by drafting a report according to a predefined template, of medicines management in the in-patient sector and interface management measures in their country. We reviewed 19 published PHIS Hospital Pharma reports, two draught reports and information provided by six further countries (data as of 2009/2010). During a network meeting in February 2012, network members from eleven countries provided updated information on interface management measures in their country on a poster.
Results Only 17 countries reported interface management initiatives. Measures included joint reimbursement lists, hospital drug formularies being coordinated with the list of recommendations for medicines in the primary care, joint development of recommendations/guidelines; joint Drugs and Therapeutics Committees (DTC) and hospital DTCs with a representative from the social health insurance; (obligatory) transfer of information on pharmacotherapy between the sectors, including IT solutions; patient education and counselling; special funding schemes, financial incentives for cooperation projects; pharmacy liaison services, hospital discharge programmes and medicines reconciliation.
Conclusions As in most cases the implementation of the reported measures would require a change in the organisation and funding of the pharmaceutical system, it cannot be done by the hospital pharmacists alone. Improved dialogue between the sectors is urgently needed.
No conflict of interest.
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