If you have heard of a comprehensive medication review (CMR), you have perhaps been curious to know what this service is and why your pharmacy is calling you asking to go over your medications. A CMR is an interactive, person-to-person interview between a pharmacist and a patient. During this interview, a patient’s medication list is reviewed by the pharmacist, and any medication issues or questions about medications are addressed.

What are the goals of a CMR?

The goal of a CMR is to collect information from the patient about their medications and health to help identify any medication-related issues and create a plan to resolve them. This involves an open conversation between the patient and pharmacist. A CMR allows the pharmacist and the patient to work together to improve the patient’s knowledge of their medications while empowering them to take ownership of their health. Medication reviews allow your pharmacist to work with your prescriber to specifically address any medication issues you may be facing and work to optimize your care and better your health.

How are CMRs conducted?

CMRs can occur over the phone or in person at the pharmacy between the pharmacist and the patient. This may take anywhere between 30 minutes to 1 hour. These interviews should be conducted every year.

What are the benefits of having a CMR?

● Personalized care – You will receive one-on-one care to help meet your health needs and resolve any medication-related issues
● Collaborative care – Pharmacists who conduct your review will work with your primary care providers and specialists to optimize care
● Save money – You will only be paying for medications that are necessary for your health and better care will reduce future hospitalizations or ED visits

Who pays for the CMR?

Most Medicare Part D plans cover CMRs for their beneficiaries based on the eligibility criteria. This changes each year, and each plan has its eligibility criteria. Call your local pharmacy to find out if you qualify for CMR services.

How to prepare for a CMR?

Preparing for a CMR interview is simple! Collect and bring all your medications, both prescription and over-the-counter, along with any inhalers or insulin pens. Make sure to include all vitamins and herbal supplements when speaking to your pharmacist. Before the interview, think about how you take each medication and when you take them. Also, think of how each medication makes you feel. Are they effective or do they make you feel worse? Mention any side effects or changes in your health you have noticed. If you regularly take your blood pressure or glucose levels, make sure to have those numbers ready to discuss. This also includes any recent lab work done or recent doctor appointments coming up. Most importantly, make sure to ask your pharmacist any questions you might have about your medications or disease management.

Take control of your health and schedule your annual comprehensive medication review today!

Jasmeen Kaur
PharmD Candidate 2022
Philadelphia College of Pharmacy


1. Hardin H, Ferrer J, Mobley L. Conducting the Comprehensive Medication Review. In: Angaran DM, Whalen K. eds. Medication Therapy Management: A Comprehensive Approach. McGraw Hill; 2015. Accessed October 13, 2021.
2. Coe AB, Bynum JP, Farris KB. Comprehensive Medication Review: New Poll Indicates Interest but Low Receipt Among Older Adults. JAMA Health Forum. 2020;1(10):e201243. doi:10.1001/jamahealthforum.2020.1243