Accredited pharmacists have been paid to review the way patients take their medicines since the new pharmacy contract came in in 2005.
Pharmacies can now claim for 400 MURs a year. But the GPC has condemned the reviews as a 'duplication' of effort.
During 2005/6, 152,854 reviews were carried out in England and Wales, out of a possible two million. Only 6.8 per cent of the budget was spent, the study, led by Alison Blenkinsopp, professor of the practice of pharmacy at Keele University.
Two-thirds of the way into 2006/7, pharmacists in England had carried out 319,902 reviews, 8 per cent of the total allowed.
GPs have been sharply critical of the new service and they have slated the pharmacists' reports back to the practice.