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PA50339: Managing polypharmacy - reducing risk

Follow this link for further information on academic years Academic Year: 2015/6
Further information on owning departmentsOwning Department/School: Department of Pharmacy & Pharmacology
Further information on credits Credits: 6
Further information on unit levels Level: Masters UG & PG (FHEQ level 7)
Further information on teaching periods Period: Modular (no specific semester)
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Summary: CW100
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Detail:
  • Assessment detail to be confirmed ( %)
Further information on supplementary assessment Supplementary Assessment: Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Further information on requisites Requisites:
Further information on descriptions Description: Aims:
To update knowledge on polypharmacy and reduce associated risks such as adverse drug reactions. To appraise the tools available to manage polypharmacy to reduce risk and adverse outcomes such as avoidable hospital admissions. Develop consultation skills to consider the ethical challenges of de-prescribing. To enable pharmacists to apply medicines optimisation to support patients on multiple medicines.

Learning Outcomes:
On successful completion of this unit students will be able to:
1. Explain the different types of adverse drug reactions and drug interactions and apply this knowledge to minimise risks associated with polypharmacy. (Medicines Optimisation Tool [MOT])
2. Discuss the co-morbidities, patient factors and drugs likely to increase risk of adverse drug reactions and how to minimise these risks through appropriate monitoring or review. (MOT)
3. Critically evaluate the currently available screening tools and resources for managing the risks associated with polypharmacy. (MOT; Portfolio)
4. Demonstrate a systematic approach to medication reviews of patients with multiple co-morbidities and polypharmacy. (MOT; Portfolio)
5. Demonstrate good communication and patient centred consultation skills to approach the ethical decisions regarding de-prescribing. (Case Based Discussion [CBD], MOT)
6. Identify times of high risk in patient care and apply medicines optimisation within multidisciplinary care pathways to improve patient outcomes. (MOT, Clinical Activity Reflective Exercise [CARE])


* Planning & organisation
* Basic clinical examination skills
* Consultation and communication skills
* Study skills
* Handling information
* Problem solving
* Working with others
* Leadership skills
* Written communication
* Improving learning and performance
* Reflective practice
* Information & communication technology.

Defining polypharmacy
Adverse drug reactions and interactions
Reducing hospital admissions
Identification of high risk patients and high risk drugs - multiple co-morbidities
Falls risk
Tools for managing polypharmacy
De-prescribing - difficult discussions and ethical decisions
Transfer of Care - a high risk time
Pharmacy services to support medicines optimisation in polypharmacy - medicines review and medicines reconciliation
Evidence-based polypharmacy.
Further information on programme availabilityProgramme availability:

PA50339 is Optional on the following programmes:

Department of Pharmacy & Pharmacology
  • TSPA-ADM10 : MSc Clincal Pharmacy Practice (Primary Care)
  • TSPA-ADC12 : PG Cert Clinical Pharmacy Practice (Primary Care)
  • TSPA-ADL11 : PG Dip Clincal Pharmacy Practice (Primary Care)

* This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2015/16 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2016/17 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2015/16.
* Programmes and units are subject to change at any time, in accordance with normal University procedures.
* Availability of units will be subject to constraints such as staff availability, minimum and maximum group sizes, and timetabling factors as well as a student's ability to meet any pre-requisite rules.