Defining and enhancing collaboration between community pharmacists and primary care providers to improve medication safety

Annesha White, Kimberly G. Fulda, Rachel Blythe, Michelle A. Chui, Emily Reeve, Richard Young, Anna Espinoza, Noah Hendrix, Yan Xiao

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Introduction: Over 4 billion prescriptions are dispensed each year to patients in the United States, with the number of prescriptions continuing to increase. There is a growing recognition of pharmacists’ potential in improving medication safety in community settings, in collaboration with primary care providers (PCPs). However, the nature of collaboration has not been well defined, and barriers and strategies are not articulated. Area covered: For this narrative review, published studies were retrieved from PubMed between January 2000 and December 2020. Search terms included “patient safety,” “medication safety,” ”collaboration,” “primary care physician,” and “community pharmacy.” Resulting articles were categorized as follows: defining collaboration, types of collaboration, and barriers and solutions to collaboration. Expert opinion: It is important to understand the factors within a community pharmacy setting that limit or facilitate community pharmacists’ participation in medication safety activities. Strategies such as medication review are a common form of collaboration. Barriers to collaboration include misconceptions regarding roles and differences in access to clinical information and community pharmacy practice variability. Future recommendations include increasing training and utilization of pharmacists/PCP teams, increasing community pharmacists’ practice in emerging roles, and expanding the community pharmacist role in transitions of care from the hospital to the community.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1357-1364
Number of pages8
JournalExpert Opinion on Drug Safety
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2022


  • Medication safety
  • collaboration
  • community pharmacists
  • older adults
  • primary care physicians


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