chapter  Nine
Generating knowledge
Pages 10

Pharmacy is one of the most complex but least analysed healthcare services, according to the Pharmacy Practice R&D Task Force report. One of the strengths claimed by community pharmacists is their ability to provide advice to consumers and patients. Many studies of interventions that aimed to increase patients' knowledge of their therapy failed to measure changes in patients' medication-taking behaviour. The pharmacy practice research attempts to understand the way in which pharmacy is practised and to evaluate the activities and interventions that pharmacists use to improve patient care. A review of research into hospital clinical pharmacy was published by Cotter and colleagues in 1995. One study showed that savings can be made by hospital pharmacy involvement in the provision of medications to primary care, but it was not a full economic evaluation. The mismatch between consumer demand and perceived need (by the pharmacist) requires more work.