Objective: Define the structure and working procedures of the Pharmacy and Therapeutic Committees (P&T Committees) in Spanish hospitals.
Setting: Hospitals over 75 beds located in all regions of the Spanish State.
Method: A cross-sectional descriptive study based on the completion of a questionnaire that consisted of 138 questions. The participants were recruited by post, e-mail and telephone between November 2007 and January 2008. The Hospitals were classified according to their size and public or private and university or non-university status.
Main Outcome Measures: They are related with the structure and composition of the P&T Committees, performance, drug evaluation process, working methods and the results of their activity.
Results: A total of 200 hospitals answered the questionnaire (response rate of 39.0% of hospitals and 57.1% of the beds in Spain). All the hospitals have P&T Committees, 99.5% have a Drug Formulary, 71.0% have a Therapeutic Interchange Programme and 91.0% have a document determining the mission, objectives and functions of the P&T Committee. Almost all hospitals (95.5%) have established a formal application for the inclusion of a drug in the hospital, while 80.5% have established a model for evaluation reports. The mean (SD) number of participants in P&T Committees was 11.84 (3.82). The annual mean of drugs evaluated per hospital was 10.35 (7.45). The proportion of assessments that concludes the inclusion, rejection or deferral of the decision was 75.3, 21.4 and 3.2%, respectively.
Conclusion: Spanish P&T Committees have a similar structure and function, a multi-disciplinary professional composition to carry out an important assessment activity. This activity is higher in large hospitals and in university hospitals. The proportion of the approved and rejected drugs is similar in different types of hospital. The Therapeutic Interchange Guidelines, the use of application models and the reports follow the indications of scientific collaborative groups, thus being used more in Spain than in other countries.