Cost–Utility Analysis of a Pharmacotherapy Follow-Up for Elderly Nursing Home Residents in Spain

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To compare the cost-effectiveness of a pharmacotherapy follow-up for elderly nursing home (NH) residents with that of usual care.


Prospective observational study with a concurrent control group conducted over 12 months.


Fifteen NHs in Andalusia assigned to control (n = 6) or intervention (n = 9).


Residents aged 65 and older.


Pharmacotherapy follow-up.


Negative outcomes associated with medication, health-related quality of life, cost, quality-adjusted life-year (QALY), and incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER). ICERs were estimated for three scenarios: unadjusted cost per QALY (first scenario), costs adjusted for baseline prescribed medication and QALYs adjusted for baseline utility score (second scenario), and costs and QALYs adjusted for a fuller set of baseline characteristics (third scenario).


Three hundred thirty-two elderly residents were enrolled: 122 in the control group and 210 in the intervention group. The general practitioner accepted 88.7% (274/309) of pharmacist recommendations. Pharmacist interventions reduced the average number of prescribed medication by 0.47 drugs (P < .001), whereas the average prescribed medication increased by 0.94 drugs in the control group (P < .001). Both groups reported a lower average EuroQol-5D utility score after 12 months (intervention, −0.0576, P = .002; control, −0.0999, P = .003). For the first scenario, usual care dominated pharmacotherapy follow-up (was less effective and more expensive). Adjusted ICERs were €3,899/QALY ($5,002/QALY) for the second scenario and €6,574/QALY ($8,433/QALY) for the third scenario. For a willingness to pay of €30,000/QALY ($38,487/QALY), the probabilities of the pharmacotherapy follow-up being cost-effective were 35% for the first scenario, 78% for the second, and 76% for the third.


Pharmacotherapy follow-up is considered cost-effective for elderly NH residents in Spain. J Am Geriatr Soc 62:1272–1280, 2014.

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