Colocation of pharmacists with primary care providers (PCPs)

A recent study investigated the physical colocation of pharmacists with primary care providers (PCPs) and the factors associated with this colocation. It found that 1 in 10 pharmacists were colocated with a PCP, with higher rates in urban areas and states with expanded scope of practice for pharmacists. Colocated pharmacists were more likely to work in larger physician practices. 

This study highlights the importance and potential benefits of integrating pharmacists into primary care teams, which include improved clinical outcomes, reduced healthcare costs, and enhanced patient and provider experiences. This close collaboration is especially crucial in managing complex medication regimens for chronic diseases, where pharmacists' expertise can be invaluable. The findings are significant for policymakers, researchers, and clinical administrators, as they provide insight into the prevalence and facilitators of pharmacist-PCP integration.

Implications for the Future

For value-based primary care companies and retail pharmacy chains, these findings suggest a strategic imperative. However, the integration of pharmacists into primary care teams requires careful design and rigorous scientific evaluation to accurately quantify the benefits of colocation. This approach not only aims to enhance patient care but also aligns with the efficiency and outcome-focused goals of value-based care models. Particularly for retail pharmacy chains, this model presents an opportunity to redefine their role in primary healthcare, extending beyond conventional dispensing roles, while ensuring that the integration yields measurable, positive outcomes.


Hawes EM, Page C, Galloway E, McClurg MR, Lombardi B. Pharmacists Colocated with Primary Care Physicians: Understanding Delivery of Interprofessional Primary Care. Medical Care. 2023 Dec 5:10-97.