RESEARCH ARTICLE: Medication review, polypharmacy and deprescribing: Results of a pilot scoping exercise in undergraduate and postgraduate education




Deprescribing, Inappropriate prescribing, Medical education, Medication review, Pharmacy education, Polypharmacy, Undergraduate education


Background: As part of tackling polypharmacy, effective medication review and safe deprescribing are key to World Health Organisation’s (WHO) 3rd Global Patient Safety Challenge. There is little information about whether this occurs consistently in pharmacy and medicine courses in England.

Objective: To create a snapshot of medication review, polypharmacy and deprescribing educational activity in a small number of university courses for medicines, pharmacy and non-medical prescribing.

Method: The authors undertook a pilot scoping exercise by emailing colleagues in schools of pharmacy and medicine across England about course inclusion of medication review and deprescribing. 11 universities, describing 17 programmes, responded (eight undergraduate pharmacy, four undergraduate medicine, four postgraduate medicine, one non-medical prescribing course). Data were categorised as: programme content, tools to support deprescribing, learning outcomes, and future intentions for deprescribing teaching.

Results: The results suggested variation in what was being taught.

Conclusion: In order to address both national and international agenda, the authors suggest that inclusion of training in this area and consistency of curricula are crucial to adequately equipping our future workforce to be fit for purpose.

Author Biographies

Nina Lee Barnett, NHS Specialist Pharmacy Service, United Kingdom

Consultant Pharmacist & Kingston University London

Barry Jubraj, NHS Specialist Pharmacy Service, United Kingdom


Daniel Grant, University of Reading, United Kingdom

School of Pharmacy

Bhavana Reddy, NHS England and NHS Improvement, United Kingdom


Jennifer M Stevenson, King's College London, United Kingdom

Institute of Pharmaceutical Science & Guy's and St. Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust


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How to Cite

Barnett, N. L., Jubraj, B., Grant, D., Reddy, B., & Stevenson, J. M. (2021). RESEARCH ARTICLE: Medication review, polypharmacy and deprescribing: Results of a pilot scoping exercise in undergraduate and postgraduate education. Pharmacy Education, 21, p. 126–132.



Research Article