Medical Field: Pharmacy
Award: Finalist
Country: Slovenia
Year: 2022
Research Work: Clinical pharmacist interventions on potentially inappropriate medications in older primary care patients with mental disorders with polypharmacy: retrospective cohort study
Published in: Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences

The main driving force behind my research is definitely improving access to clinical pharmacy health services in our healthcare system, and presenting the results to decision-makers to show that it is wise to invest in new healthcare programs.


Professor Matej Štuhec is a Doctor of Pharmacy, Associate Professor of Clinical Pharmacy at the Medical Faculty, University of Maribor, and a Psychiatric Clinical Pharmacist Specialist in the Psychiatric Hospital Ormož, Slovenia.

For Matej Štuhec, PhD, PharmD, his interest in pharmacy was clear from an early age. His curiosity in chemistry and desire to connect biology, chemistry and medicine drew him to the field.

His work reflects his strong interest in the pharmacological management of mood disorders, especially old-age psychiatry, and clinical psychopharmacology. His research also focuses on clinical pharmacy in psychiatry and primary care, rational use of medications, pharmacology and meta-analysis.

The submitted study is the first retrospective long-term cohort study evaluating the impact of clinical pharmacist interventions on the number of potentially inappropriate medications (PIMs) through a medication review service in older patients in this special population in the clinical pharmacy ambulatory settings. Its results confirm the positive effects of clinical pharmacist interventions within this field in clinical practice and can positively influence further research on clinical pharmacist-focused collaborative care in primary care settings for the elderly.

This study also shows positive investments of the Health Insurance Institute of Slovenia into ambulatory clinical pharmacy settings, which are available to all Slovenians from 2018. Slovenia is the first country in this part of Europe with this national reimbursed ambulatory clinical pharmacy service in primary care settings.

It is important to do research mainly because we (pharmacists) get a wide range of collaborations, especially with fellow doctors, and they also definitely gain better insight about how clinical pharmacists are needed in the system, and how useful we are in joint efforts to optimize drug treatment for patients. Only by working together on the same cases can we contribute the most for our patients. I am happiest when research leads to new reimbursed clinical pharmacy services available for patients in Slovenia. And we are on the right track.

Balancing the demands of clinical work and research can be challenging, but Štuhec stays energized by taking time for his hobbies such as travelling, spending time in nature and participating in sports activities with friends. This helps him stay physically and mentally prepared for his professional pursuits.