Impact of clinical pharmacy services on renal transplant patients' compliance with immunosuppressive medications

Marie A. Chisholm, Laura L. Mulloy, Muralidharan Jagadeesan, Joseph T. Dipiro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

155 Scopus citations


Background: Non-compliance with immunosuppressive medications may result in allograft rejection and is regarded as an important impediment to post-transplant care. This randomized, controlled trial evaluates the impact of clinical pharmacy services on renal transplant patients' compliance with immunosuppressive agents. Methods: Patients who received a renal transplant at the Medical College of Georgia from February 1997 through January 1999 were randomized in the intervention or control group provided they met study criteria. In addition to routine clinic services at each clinic visit, patients in the intervention group received clinical pharmacy services, which included medication histories and review of patients' medications with an emphasis on optimizing medication therapy to achieve desired outcomes and minimizing adverse medication events. The clinical pharmacist also provided recommendations to the nephrologists with the goal of achieving desired outcomes. To promote medication compliance by using compliance enhancement strategies, the clinical pharmacist counseled patients concerning their medication therapy and instructed them how to properly take their medications. Patients in the control group received the same routine clinic services as the intervention group except that they did not have any clinical pharmacist interaction. Compliance rate (CR) was calculated and patient's compliance status was determined from the CR. The CR, the fraction of patients remaining compliant for each month, and the mean time patients were compliant were compared between groups. Whether there was a difference in the frequency of patients achieving 'target' immunosuppressive levels in the control and study groups was evaluated. Results: The mean CR for patients who had clinical pharmacist intervention (n = 12) was statistically higher than the control group's (n = 12) mean CR (p < 0.001). During the 12-month post-transplant study period, patients in the intervention group had a longer duration of compliance than patients in the control group (p < 0.05). Additionally, patients who had clinical pharmacy services had a greater achievement of 'target' levels than patients who did not receive these services (p < 0.05). Conclusions: Patients who received clinical pharmacy services with traditional patient care services had better compliance with immunosuppressants than patients who only received traditional patient care services. Results of this study suggest a multidisciplinary team that includes a clinical pharmacist as part of the care for post-transplant patients is beneficial for enhancing medication compliance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)330-336
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Transplantation
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2001


  • Clinical services
  • Immunosuppressant medications
  • Kidney transplant
  • Medication compliance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation


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