Polypharmacy management among Australian veterans: improving prescribing through the Australian Department of Veterans’ Affairs’ prescriber feedback programme

$48.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)

Download / Buy Article:


Abstract Background: 

Older patients are potentially at risk from the effects of polypharmacy (PP) and/or drug–drug interactions. Aims: 

To examine the effects of a targeted patient-specific prescriber feedback programme on patients prescribed more than 19 individual medications over the 3-month study period. Methods: 

The Commonwealth Department of Veterans’ Affairs commissioned a review of Repatriation Pharmaceutical Benefit Scheme claims data to identify patients potentially at risk of drug injury through either PP (≥20 unique medications during 3 months) or clinically significant drug interactions (DI). Dispensing information for the patient at risk, relevant clinical guidelines and a personalized covering letter were mailed to the main prescribing general practitioner of the identified veteran patient. The claims data were then re-analysed after the programme. Results: 

There was a significant reduction in the mean number of unique medications prescribed over a 3-month period 1 year after the prescriber feedback (mean change = −2.22; 95% confidence interval −3.54 to −0.90; P = 0.0013) for patients identified with ongoing PP. There was also a significant reduction in the number of DI pairs (mean change = −0.73; 95% confidence interval −0.77 to −0.69; P < 0.0001) for the patients identified with an ongoing DI. The number of patients dispensed one or more DI pairs decreased from 836 to 318 after the feedback. Conclusion: 

A targeted prescriber feedback programme can influence general practitioner prescribing at an individual patient level and, therefore, contribute to the quality use of medicines.

Keywords: drug interactions; health care; pharmaceutical preparations; therapeutics

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1445-5994.2007.01453.x

Affiliations: 1: Diversified Health Systems, Melbourne, Victoria 2: Department of Veterans’ Affairs, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia

Publication date: February 1, 2008

Related content



Share Content

Access Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
ingentaconnect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more