Pharmaceutical Care Network Europe

The Pharmaceutical Care Network Europe (PCNE) was established in 1994  and it became an official association (under Dutch law) in 2004.
Pharmaceutical Care is the pharmacist's contribution to the care of individuals, in order to optimize medicines use and improve health outcomes.

Medication Review Drug-related problem classification Guidelines and Indicators

Looking for the different versions of the PCNE-DRP classification? Look at the bottom of this page.

1-6-2019: Classification V 9.0

Version 9.0 is ready and available, it now includes a causes doimain for seamless care. 
Please note that Version V 8 is not compatible with earlier versions, due to some fundamental changes. But V8 is compatible with the Versions 9, with the help of a conversion table (C8 is new, C9 is the old C8). The version 9.0 is being validated by an international group of experts and is also available in Mandarin Chinese, traditional Chinese, Montenegrin, Turkish and German. Version 8.03 is available in Traditional Chinese and Turkish (see below).

Drug-related problems are one of the cornerstones of pharmaceutical care. Therefore the working group on Drug-related problems develops and evaluates a DRP-classification.

In September 2009 the working group on Drug-related problems of the Pharmaceutical Care Network Europe has been officially estabished, although it existed already informally since 2001. The working group is currently chaired by Dr. Foppe van Mil and Dr. Tommy Westerlund and Dr. Nejc Horvat. PCNE also defined a Drug-related propblem, on which the classification is also based:

"A Drug-Related Problem is an event or circumstance involving drug therapy that actually or potentially interferes with desired health outcomes."


International Validation Project 2019-2020

With the increasing international use of the PCNE-DRP Classification, and many translations, a more thorough validation is necessary; just face validity is not enough. There are eight criteria that should be considered in the selection of drug related problem classifications, those criteria in the mean time also constitute criteria for validation.

Appropriateness: is the classification content appropriate to the questions which the classification seeks to address, namely coding drug-related problems, its causes and interventions?

Acceptability: is the DRP-classification instrument acceptable to health care professionals and researchers, for the aims that it has been developped for?

Feasibility: is the instrument easy to administer and are the results easy to process?

Interpretability: how interpretable are the scores of the instrument?

Precision: how precise are the scores of the instrument?

Reliability: does the instrument produce results that are reproducible and internally consistent?

Validity: does the instrument document what it claims to measure?

Responsiveness: does the instrument offer options to follow interventions and outcomes of interventions? This aspect is obviously closely linked to precision.

Validation V9.0

With the constuction of the classification V9.0, a new international validation project was also started, based on a validation set of cases (Set 2019). In this validation round, the interpretability, precision and reliability aspects of validity are being assessed, as well as the acceptability.

At the preliminary evaluation of this validation round with the results of approx. 50 respondents, a number of issues became obvious. These issues were discussed with pharmaceutical care experts during the Working Symposium 2020 in Egmond aan Zee, and were found to be cause by the classification itself as well as the cases used.

During the months March and April 2020, the working group adapted the classification based on the results of the discussions in Egmond, leading to a version 9.1. Also the cases were adapted, leading to a version Set 2020.

The report of the first validation round can be found here. The data are also available, but only for PCNE members (password protected) and the national coordinating centres. (links yet to be added)

Validation V 9.1

The adapted classification are currently being tested against the adapted cases. If you think you can also contribute to this validation round, please contact  Currently participating countries are:


DRP meetings 2019 and 2020 in Egmond aan Zee

On the 6th February 2019 the DRP-group had another meeting to discuss V8.02 of the DRP classification. This version now has been translated in a number of languages, and more translations are under way. Nevertheless a small number of issues has come up,and small adaptations proved to be desirable. See the meeting report.

At the same time, V9.00 was under development and has been finalised. That version is being validated, and the preliminary validation results were discussed in Egmond, at 7-8 February 2020. Working group participants decided that a number of cases should be adapted and replaced, but also suggested some minor and major changes to the classification. The working group will implement the changes in the cases, and minor changes in the classification as soon as possible, and then start a new validation round. Major changes to the classification must wait till a new version will be developed.

For more information, mail to

Short history of the PCNE DRP-classification

During the first Working Conference of the Pharmaceutical Care Network Europe in January 1999 in Hilleroed, Denmark, a classification scheme was constructed for drug related problems (DRPs). In the years thereafter the classification underwent many tests and changes, leading to a number of new versions.

The definition of drug-related problems, and the 2009 version of the PCNE-DRP classification have been extensively discussed during a dedicated and important PCNE Working Symposium on Drug Related Problems in Geneva. There were international 18 experts present who discussed definitions, the new version (V6) of the PCNE DRP classification and validation issues.

The different abstracts, presentations and reports from that meeting are available from Working Symposium 2009.

In 2017, a new discussion round was held between experts, and this was the start for the creation of a new version . One of the essential new elements was a domain for the way that the proposed interventions are presented, and one for the level acceptance of the intervention. The domain outcome was also scrutenised and adapted.

After a quick validation and a new discussion on the validation process in Heidelberg, some minor changes were implemented and V8 became the new standard. During the 2019 Working Conference in Egmond, the Classification and its validation were again discussed, and this lead to some minor changes. The current version is V9.0, and includes a new domain on possible causes that can be found in seamless care (patient transfer between different settings or clinical departments). This version has now been validated, and translated in several languages.

Additional information can be obtained from the DRP Working group of the PCNE at

The PCNE DRP-classification

Latest version and translations

Please note that per 1-6-2019, the latest version is V9.0. Previous versions are no longer supported, but some can still be downloaded.

The versions 8 and 9 are not compatible with earlier versions, due to some fundamental changes. But V9 is compatible with the versions 8, with small adaptations. The English edition of this version will be validated. There is a Mandarin, German, and Montenegrin translation of Version 9.0, and a Traditional Chinese and Turkish translation of Version 8.03. Versions in Russian, Indonesian and Ukrainian are under scruteny.

There is a Spanish and Croatian version version of the Classification V6.2. These versions are no longer supported by PCNE but have proven their worth in several projects.

Please note that there is a copyright on the material, and you should inform the PCNE secretariat if you want to use or publish the Classification or related materials (any version). Any other question can be sent to the working group at

The classification has changed significantly since its first version. A list of the changes can be found here: DRP_class update history V9.

Links to the classification

Links to the current versions of the classification

If you want to contribute to the validation or translation of the DRP Classification V9.0, please contact the PCNE secretariat at or the DRP Working Group at The secretariat also has a .sav file available for entering data for evaluating the results of the classification (V8.03 and V 9.0) in SPSS.



Older versions (no longer supported, not to be used anymore, solely for your information):