Background Medicines account for a large part of the budget in Danish hospitals. National and regional actions are initiated to control drug expenses. Local initiatives aim at involving doctors, nurses and pharmacy staff in taking everyday responsibility for the rational use of drugs.
Purpose To establish systematic and documented cooperation between the Local Drug and Therapeutics Committee, the clinical staff and the pharmacy staff to systematically identify and intervene on avoidable medicines expenses.
Materials and Methods 10 focus areas were identified: Handling free-of-charge drugs, systematic feedback from top-up-service, the staff’s (unofficial) use of medicines, reanalysis of statistical material on drug use, input from other pharmacy departments, analysing the use of the 120 most expensive drugs, analysis of disposed medicines, emptying vials (expensive drugs), shift from IV to oral antibiotics, and use of the patients’ own medicine, when possible. Through a systematic approach and co-operation on all levels of the organisation, the 10 focus areas were implemented in everyday practise at the hospital.
Results The results were recorded in a report to the Local Drug and Therapeutics Committee in January 2012. A financial estimate was made for 4 out of 10 focus areas. The total result for the 4 intervention areas amounts to a saving of DKK 1,154,500 (€155,00)/year. The saving is based on a conservative estimate. For the remaining six focus areas interventions are still taking place. In 2012 the initiative is spreading to other hospitals in the Capital Region.
Conclusions Through systematic and well-documented cooperation between the Local Drug and Therapeutics Committee, the clinical staff and the pharmacy, it has proved possible to save a considerable amount on the total hospital budget.
No conflict of interest.