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Pharmacy, Volume 6, Issue 1 (March 2018)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Effective patient-centered care considers all factors affecting health including biological, [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle Pharmacists as Interprofessional Collaborators and Leaders through Clinical Pathways
Received: 16 February 2018 / Revised: 8 March 2018 / Accepted: 14 March 2018 / Published: 16 March 2018
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Abstract
Pharmacists possess pivotal competencies and expertise in developing clinical pathways (CPs). We present a tertiary care facility experience of pharmacists vis-a-vis interprofessional collaboration for designing and implementing CPs. We participated in the development of CPs as leading members of a collaborative team of
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Pharmacists possess pivotal competencies and expertise in developing clinical pathways (CPs). We present a tertiary care facility experience of pharmacists vis-a-vis interprofessional collaboration for designing and implementing CPs. We participated in the development of CPs as leading members of a collaborative team of healthcare professionals. We reviewed literature, aligning it with hospital formulary and institutional standards, and participated in weekly team meetings for six months. Several tools and services were adapted to guide prescribing and standardization of care through time-bound order sets. Fifteen CPs leading to admissions in medical wards were developed and integrated into Computerized Prescriber Order Entry (CPOE) sets. Tools and services included (1) reporting of creatinine clearance to guide optimum dosing; (2) advisory flags for dosing and infusion rates; (3) piloting of medication reconciliation and counseling services before discharge were initiated; (4) Arabic drug leaflets were designed to educate patients; and (5) five CPs were included in pragmatic randomized control trials with a clinical pharmacist as co-investigator. Clinical pharmacists conducted continuous orientation to various healthcare professionals throughout the process. CPs provide unique opportunities for establishing and evaluating patient-centered pharmaceutical services and allow clinical pharmacists to demonstrate interprofessional leadership in collaboration with multidisciplinary teams. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interprofessional Working and Collaborative Practice)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Adherence to Oral Anticancer Medications: Evolving Interprofessional Roles and Pharmacist Workforce Considerations
Received: 22 January 2018 / Revised: 5 March 2018 / Accepted: 6 March 2018 / Published: 8 March 2018
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Abstract
Interprofessional care is exhibited in outpatient oncology practices where practitioners from a myriad of specialties (e.g., oncology, nursing, pharmacy, health informatics and others) work collectively with patients to enhance therapeutic outcomes and minimize adverse effects. Historically, most ambulatory-based anticancer medication therapies have been
[...] Read more.
Interprofessional care is exhibited in outpatient oncology practices where practitioners from a myriad of specialties (e.g., oncology, nursing, pharmacy, health informatics and others) work collectively with patients to enhance therapeutic outcomes and minimize adverse effects. Historically, most ambulatory-based anticancer medication therapies have been administrated in infusion clinics or physician offices. Oral anticancer medications (OAMs) have become increasingly prevalent and preferred by patients for use in residential or other non-clinic settings. Self-administration of OAMs represents a significant shift in the management of cancer care and role responsibilities for patients and clinicians. While patients have a greater sense of empowerment and convenience when taking OAMs, adherence is a greater challenge than with intravenous therapies. This paper proposes use of a qualitative systems evaluation, based on theoretical frameworks for interdisciplinary team collaboration and systems science, to examine the social interactionism involved with the use of intravenous anticancer treatments and OAMs (as treatment technologies) by describing patient, organizational, and social systems considerations in communication, care, control, and context (i.e., Kaplan’s 4Cs). This conceptualization can help the healthcare system prepare for substantial workforce changes in cancer management, including increased utilization of oncology pharmacists. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Labor Market for Pharmacists)
Open AccessArticle Assessing the Understanding of Pharmaceutical Pictograms among Cultural Minorities: The Example of Hindu Individuals Communicating in European Portuguese
Received: 9 January 2018 / Revised: 6 February 2018 / Accepted: 27 February 2018 / Published: 5 March 2018
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Abstract
One of the sources of poor health outcomes is the lack of compliance with the prescribed treatment plans, often due to communication barriers between healthcare professionals and patients. Pictograms are a form of communication that conveys meaning through its pictorial resemblance to a
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One of the sources of poor health outcomes is the lack of compliance with the prescribed treatment plans, often due to communication barriers between healthcare professionals and patients. Pictograms are a form of communication that conveys meaning through its pictorial resemblance to a physical object or an action. Pharmaceutical pictograms are often associated with a better comprehension of treatment regimens, although their use is still subject to limitations. The main goal of this study was to examine the potential understanding of pharmaceutical pictograms by a cultural minority when providing patient information while comparing the effectiveness of two reference systems (United States Pharmacopeia USP and International Pharmacy Federation FIP) for this purpose. A self-administered questionnaire was developed comprising 30 pictograms, 15 selected from the United States Pharmacopeia Dispensing Information and the equivalent from the International Pharmaceutical Federation. The questionnaire comprised plain instructions, socio-demographic data, self-reported language fluency and pictogram labels in Portuguese presented to conveniently selected members of the Hindu community of Lisbon (Portugal) until reaching a quota of 50. Participants showed difficulties in understanding some pictograms, which was related to the self-reported reduced fluency in Portuguese. Overall, the interpretation of USP pictograms was better than FIP ones, as well as for pictograms composed of multiple images, presenting a negative reading, or when conveying information unrelated to medication instructions. Even using internationally validated pictograms, added care should be taken when community pharmacists use such communication resources with cultural minorities. It is important not to disregard other forms of patient communication and information, considering pictograms as a complement to other forms of patient counselling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Communication in Pharmacy Practice)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle The Introduction of a Full Medication Review Process in a Local Hospital: Successes and Barriers of a Pilot Project in the Geriatric Ward
Received: 29 December 2017 / Revised: 25 February 2018 / Accepted: 27 February 2018 / Published: 28 February 2018
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Abstract
For the majority of Belgian hospitals, a pharmacist-led full medication review process is not standard care and, therefore, challenging to introduce. With this study, we aimed to evaluate the successes and barriers of the implementation of a pharmacist-led full medication review process in
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For the majority of Belgian hospitals, a pharmacist-led full medication review process is not standard care and, therefore, challenging to introduce. With this study, we aimed to evaluate the successes and barriers of the implementation of a pharmacist-led full medication review process in the geriatric ward at a local Belgian hospital. To this end, we carried out an interventional study, performing a full medication review on older patients (≥70 years) with polypharmacy (≥5 drugs) who had an unplanned admission to the geriatric ward. The process consisted of 3 steps: (1) medication reconciliation upon admission; (2) medication review using an explicit reviewing tool (STOPP/START criteria or GheOP3S tool), followed by a discussion between the pharmacist and the geriatrician; and (3) medication reconciliation upon discharge. Ethical approval was obtained from the Ethical Commission of the Ghent University Hospital. Outcomes included objective data on the interventions (e.g., number of drug discrepancies; number of potentially inappropriate prescriptions (PIP)); as well as subjective experiences (e.g., satisfaction with service; opinion on inter-professional communication). There was a special focus on communication aspects within the introduction of this process. In total, 52 patients were included in the study, taking a median of 10 drugs (IQR 8–12). Upon admission, 122 drug discrepancies were detected. During medication review, 254 PIPs were detected and discussed, leading to an improvement in the appropriateness of medication use. The satisfaction of community pharmacists concerning additional communication and the satisfaction of the patients after counselling at discharge were positive. However, several barriers were encountered, such as the time-consuming process to gather necessary information from different sources, the non-continuity of the service due to the lack of trained personnel or the lack of safe, electronic platforms to share information. The communicative and non-communicative successes and hurdles encountered during this project need to be addressed in order to improve the full medication review process and to strengthen the role of the clinical pharmacist. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Communication in Pharmacy Practice)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Adherence to Bisphosphonates among People Admitted to an Orthopaedic and Geriatric Ward at a University Hospital in Sweden
Received: 3 January 2018 / Revised: 12 February 2018 / Accepted: 27 February 2018 / Published: 28 February 2018
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Abstract
Oral bisphosphonates are the first choice of therapy to reduce the risk of osteoporotic fractures. These medications have generally poor oral bioavailability, which may further be reduced by concomitant intake of certain foods and drugs; therefore, it is vital to follow specific instructions.
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Oral bisphosphonates are the first choice of therapy to reduce the risk of osteoporotic fractures. These medications have generally poor oral bioavailability, which may further be reduced by concomitant intake of certain foods and drugs; therefore, it is vital to follow specific instructions. The aim with this study was to assess general adherence to oral bisphosphonates and adherence to specific administration instructions among people admitted to two wards at Umeå University hospital in Sweden. This interview study focuses on elderly patients living at home and prescribed oral bisphosphonates. Invited were 27 patients admitted to an orthopaedic ward and a geriatric ward during the period 28 March 2017 and 5 December 2017. In total, 21 patients were interviewed regarding their adherence to oral bisphosphonates. Out of 21 patients, 13 (62%) were considered non-adherent. The most common reason was calcium intake less than 2 h after oral administration of bisphosphonate (54%). The number of regularly prescribed drugs was significantly higher among patients rated non-adherent to bisphosphonates compared to those rated adherent (p = 0.004). Adherence to bisphosphonates administration instruction among elderly people living at home was limited. More research is needed to confirm these results and to investigate the reasons for non-adherence and how adherence to bisphosphonates can be improved. Full article
Open AccessArticle Clozapine Patients at the Interface between Primary and Secondary Care
Received: 29 January 2018 / Revised: 22 February 2018 / Accepted: 23 February 2018 / Published: 26 February 2018
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Abstract
Patients receiving clozapine must undergo routine blood monitoring to screen for neutropenia, and to monitor for potential agranulocytosis. In Cork University Hospital, Cork, Ireland, clozapine is dispensed in the hospital pharmacy and the pharmacists are not aware of co-prescribed medicines, potentially impacting upon
[...] Read more.
Patients receiving clozapine must undergo routine blood monitoring to screen for neutropenia, and to monitor for potential agranulocytosis. In Cork University Hospital, Cork, Ireland, clozapine is dispensed in the hospital pharmacy and the pharmacists are not aware of co-prescribed medicines, potentially impacting upon patient safety. The aim of this study was to examine the continuity of care of patients prescribed clozapine. A retrospective audit was conducted on patients attending the clozapine clinic at Cork University Hospital and assessed patients’ (i) independent living, (ii) co-prescribed medicines and (iii) knowledge of their community pharmacists regarding co-prescribed clozapine. A list of prescribed medicines for each patient was obtained, and potential drug-drug interactions between these medicines and clozapine were examined using Lexicomp® and Stockley’s Interaction checker. Secondary outcomes included patients’ physical health characteristics, and a review of co-morbidities. Data were collected between the 29 May 2017 and 20 June 2017. Local ethics committee approval was granted. Patients were eligible for inclusion if they were receiving clozapine treatment as part of a registered programme, were aged 18 years or more, and had the capacity to provide written informed consent. Microsoft Excel was used for data analysis. Of 112 patients, (33% female; mean age (SD) 43.9 (11.3) years; 87.5% living independently/in the family home) 86.6% patients reported that they were taking other prescribed medicines from community pharmacies. The mean (SD) number of co-prescribed medicines in addition to clozapine was 4.8 (4) per patient. Two thirds of community pharmacists were unaware of co-prescribed clozapine. Interactions with clozapine were present in all but 3 patients on co-prescribed medicines (n = 97). Lexicomp® reported 2.9 drug-drug interactions/patient and Stockley’s Interaction Checker reported 2.5 drug-drug interactions/patient. Secondary outcomes for patients included BMI, total cholesterol, and HbA1c levels, which were elevated in 75%, 54% and 17% respectively. Patients prescribed clozapine did not receive a seamless service, between primary and secondary care settings. Community pharmacists were not informed of clozapine, prescribed for their patients, in two thirds of cases. Patients in this study were exposed to clozapine-related drug-drug interactions and hence potential adverse effects. This study supports reports in the literature of substandard management of the physical health of this patient group. This study shows that there is an opportunity for pharmacists to develop active roles in the management of all clozapine-related effects, in addition to their traditional obligatory role in haematological monitoring. This study supports the need for a clinical pharmacist to review inpatients commencing on clozapine, monitor for drug-drug interactions and provide counselling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Patient Safety and Adverse Drug Events in Medication Practice)
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Open AccessFeature PaperConcept Paper Patient-Centered Communication
Received: 2 January 2018 / Revised: 8 February 2018 / Accepted: 9 February 2018 / Published: 13 February 2018
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Abstract
As the population ages, morbidity and mortality associated with chronic disease will increase. Some patient-centered improvements have been made in health care services, but optimal health has not been fully realized. Only when pharmacists have a holistic understanding of an individual patient, including
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As the population ages, morbidity and mortality associated with chronic disease will increase. Some patient-centered improvements have been made in health care services, but optimal health has not been fully realized. Only when pharmacists have a holistic understanding of an individual patient, including their experience of illness and medication, can they effectively assess appropriateness, safety, efficacy, and adherence to medications and develop realistic treatment plans. When patients are involved in their care, they are better able to manage complex chronic conditions by understanding and adhering to their plan of care. Pharmacists can enable patients to participate fully using patient-centered communication. There are relatively few published articles on patient-centered communication specific to pharmacists, but the Calgary-Cambridge guide and Four Habits model have applicability to pharmacy practice. The Patient-Centered Communication Tools (PaCT), created for use in pharmacy education and loosely based on the Four Habits model, can assist pharmacists in developing their patient-centered communication skills. Lastly, best practices for patient-centered communication in pharmacy practice are described. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Communication in Pharmacy Practice)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Barriers and Facilitators of Partner Treatment of Chlamydia: A Qualitative Investigation with Prescribers and Community Pharmacists
Received: 11 December 2017 / Revised: 2 February 2018 / Accepted: 5 February 2018 / Published: 8 February 2018
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Abstract
Chlamydia trachomatis is the most frequently-notified sexually transmitted infection in Australia. Effective and timely partner treatment of chlamydia is essential to reduce overall prevalence and the burden of infection. Currently in most of Australia, the only avenue for partner treatment of chlamydia (“standard
[...] Read more.
Chlamydia trachomatis is the most frequently-notified sexually transmitted infection in Australia. Effective and timely partner treatment of chlamydia is essential to reduce overall prevalence and the burden of infection. Currently in most of Australia, the only avenue for partner treatment of chlamydia (“standard partner therapy”) is a tedious, and often inconvenient, process. The barriers and facilitators of standard partner therapy, and newer models of accelerated partner therapy (APT), need to be identified in the Australian setting. Additionally, the potential role of community pharmacists need to be explored. Semi-structured interview guides for two key stakeholder groups (prescribers and pharmacists) were developed and piloted. Eleven prescribers (general practitioners, sexual health clinicians and nurse practitioners) and twelve pharmacists practicing in the Perth metropolitan region were interviewed. Key reported barriers to standard partner therapy were lack of or delayed chlamydia testing. Key facilitators included ability to test and educate sexual partner. Key barriers for APT included prescribers’ legal responsibility and potential for medication-related adverse effects. Healthcare provider consultation and chlamydia testing were seen as potential facilitators of APT. Pharmacists were receptive to the idea of expanding their role in chlamydia treatment, however, barriers to privacy must be overcome in order to be acceptable to prescribers and pharmacists. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Qualitative Methods in Pharmacy Research)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle An Active Learning Activity to Reinforce the Design Components of the Corticosteroids
Received: 5 January 2018 / Revised: 30 January 2018 / Accepted: 31 January 2018 / Published: 5 February 2018
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Abstract
Despite the popularity of active learning applications over the past few decades, few activities have been reported for the field of medicinal chemistry. The purpose of this study is to report a new active learning activity, describe participant contributions, and examine participant performance
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Despite the popularity of active learning applications over the past few decades, few activities have been reported for the field of medicinal chemistry. The purpose of this study is to report a new active learning activity, describe participant contributions, and examine participant performance on the assessment questions mapped to the objective covered by the activity. In this particular activity, students are asked to design two novel corticosteroids as a group (6–8 students per group) based on the design characteristics of marketed corticosteroids covered in lecture coupled with their pharmaceutics knowledge from the previous semester and then defend their design to the class through an interactive presentation model. Although class performance on the objective mapped to this material on the assessment did not reach statistical significance, use of this activity has allowed fruitful discussion of misunderstood concepts and facilitated multiple changes to the lecture presentation. As pharmacy schools continue to emphasize alternative learning pedagogies, publication of previously implemented activities demonstrating their use will help others apply similar methodologies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pharmacy Education and Student / Practitioner Training)
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Open AccessArticle Patterns of Self-Medication Behavior for Oral Health Problems Among Adults Living in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Received: 6 January 2018 / Revised: 29 January 2018 / Accepted: 31 January 2018 / Published: 1 February 2018
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Abstract
Abstract: Self-medication is a widespread behavior worldwide. It is defined as the practice of self-diagnosis and drug prescription without proper professional consultation. Aim: To determine the prevalence and predictors of self-medication for oral health problems among adults living in Riyadh city. Methods: A
[...] Read more.
Abstract: Self-medication is a widespread behavior worldwide. It is defined as the practice of self-diagnosis and drug prescription without proper professional consultation. Aim: To determine the prevalence and predictors of self-medication for oral health problems among adults living in Riyadh city. Methods: A cross-sectional study based on a structured close-ended questionnaire was distributed among adults visiting shopping malls in all different five regions of Riyadh. A two-stage sampling technique was used: cluster and simple random sampling. The questionnaire was composed of two main sections: demographic characteristics and questions assessing the behavior of self-medication. Results: The prevalence of self-medication was found to be 63.25%, with a higher prevalence among females than males. Gender and nationality were significantly associated with self-medication. Salt in hot water locally (52.57%) and acetaminophen (47.43%), a type of an analgesic, were, systemically, the most frequently used. Pharmacy shops were the main source of these medicaments (66.01%). Similarly, the advice for using them was mainly given by pharmacists (53.36%). Lack of time was claimed to be the main reason for practicing self-medication (54.55%) with abscess, toothache, and gingival bleeding being the main predictors. Conclusions: Self-medication was found to be a common practice among the population of Riyadh city. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pharmacy Education and Student / Practitioner Training)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Maintaining Vitality: Pharmacists’ Continuing Professional Education Decision-Making in the Upper Midwest
Received: 21 November 2017 / Revised: 23 January 2018 / Accepted: 25 January 2018 / Published: 1 February 2018
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Abstract
Continuing professional education (CPE) plays an important role in continuing professional development of pharmacists for providing quality pharmaceutical care but also to maintain professional and organizational vitality and meet changing community/population needs. The study objective was to describe and understand factors of importance
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Continuing professional education (CPE) plays an important role in continuing professional development of pharmacists for providing quality pharmaceutical care but also to maintain professional and organizational vitality and meet changing community/population needs. The study objective was to describe and understand factors of importance in selection of CPE credit hours among Upper Midwest pharmacists. A cross-sectional study of licensed pharmacists (n = 1239) in Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota included completion of a questionnaire on demographics and CPE decision-making. Factor analysis, t-test, and multivariate analyses were performed using Stata 10.1. Pharmacists placed greatest importance on maintaining licensure (mean = 2.72/3.00), personal interest (mean = 2.57), and self-improvement (mean = 2.42). Community/population need (mean = 1.83) was rated as slightly more important (p < 0.01) by retail/community pharmacists, females, and those with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree or pharmacy residency while business growth/development (mean = 1.33) was rated slightly more important (p < 0.01) by retail/community pharmacists. Despite findings that neither community/population need nor business development were among the most important factors in pharmacists’ CPE selection, there exists significant potential for pharmacists to utilize CPE to maintain professional and organizational vitality in the labor market, but more importantly to ensure continued provision of quality pharmaceutical care and patient education. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Labor Market for Pharmacists)
Open AccessArticle Giving Voice to the Medically Under-Served: A Qualitative Co-Production Approach to Explore Patient Medicine Experiences and Improve Services to Marginalized Communities
Received: 29 November 2017 / Revised: 24 January 2018 / Accepted: 25 January 2018 / Published: 27 January 2018
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Abstract
Background: With an aging population, the appropriate, effective and safe use of medicines is a global health priority. However, “‘medically under-served” patients continue to experience significant inequalities around access to healthcare services. Aim: This study forms part of a wider project
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Background: With an aging population, the appropriate, effective and safe use of medicines is a global health priority. However, “‘medically under-served” patients continue to experience significant inequalities around access to healthcare services. Aim: This study forms part of a wider project to co-develop and evaluate a digital educational intervention for community pharmacy. The aim of this paper is to explore the medicine needs of patients from marginalized communities and suggest practical way on how services could be better tailored to their requirements. Method: Following ethical approval, qualitative data was gathered from: (1) workshops with patients and professionals (n = 57 attendees); and (2) qualitative semi-structured interviews (10 patients and 10 pharmacists). Results: Our findings revealed that patients from marginalized communities reported poor management of their medical conditions and significant problems with adherence to prescribed medicines. Their experience of pharmacy services was found to be variable with many experiencing discrimination or disadvantage as a result of their status. Discussion: This study highlights the plight of medically under-served communities and the need for policy makers to tailor services to an individual’s needs and circumstances. Furthermore, patients and professionals can work in collaboration using a co-production approach to develop educational interventions for pharmacy service improvements. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Qualitative Methods in Pharmacy Research)
Open AccessArticle Establishing a Pharmacy-Based Patient Registry System: A Pilot Study for Evaluating Pharmacist Intervention for Patients with Long-Term Medication Use
Received: 6 December 2017 / Revised: 23 January 2018 / Accepted: 24 January 2018 / Published: 25 January 2018
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Abstract
Background: In Japan, an increasing number of patients are prescribed a large amount of long-term medications by large hospitals that are then dispensed by a community pharmacy. This practice often leads to considerable wastage of medicine. As part of their professional role, community
[...] Read more.
Background: In Japan, an increasing number of patients are prescribed a large amount of long-term medications by large hospitals that are then dispensed by a community pharmacy. This practice often leads to considerable wastage of medicine. As part of their professional role, community pharmacists are expected to contribute more to the appropriate use of medication by patients. Using a prospective cohort, we aimed to evaluate pharmacists’ role in the community. Methods: We created a patient registry system for community pharmacies to monitor long-term medication use by patients with chronic conditions. Patient drug adherence and potential problems were monitored through regular home visits or telephone calls by the pharmacist at least once a month between patient hospital visits. Patient data were collected and stored in an internet-based system. Results: Over a one-year follow-up, 28 out of 37 registered patients from 14 community pharmacies were continuously monitored. In total, we extracted 19 problems relating to medication use, 17 to physical complaints, eight to patient concerns, and two others. Conclusion: The registry system was useful for identifying medication-related problems as well as patient concerns and changes in their condition. Pharmacists might play a key role in improving patient care in the community. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Communication in Pharmacy Practice)
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Open AccessArticle An Exploratory Study of Student Pharmacists’ Self-Reported Pain, Management Strategies, Outcomes, and Implications for Pharmacy Education
Received: 9 November 2017 / Revised: 16 January 2018 / Accepted: 17 January 2018 / Published: 22 January 2018
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Abstract
The objective of this study was to describe the prevalence, management strategies, and outcomes of pain experienced by student pharmacists, and to discuss implications for pharmacy education. A questionnaire administered to student pharmacists collected data about their experience, management strategies, and outcomes of
[...] Read more.
The objective of this study was to describe the prevalence, management strategies, and outcomes of pain experienced by student pharmacists, and to discuss implications for pharmacy education. A questionnaire administered to student pharmacists collected data about their experience, management strategies, and outcomes of pain. Data were analyzed using t-tests, chi-square or Fisher’s tests, and logistic regression. Of the 218 student pharmacists who completed the survey, 79% experienced pain in the past five years. Chronic pain impacted students’ ability to work (15%) and attend school (9%). Respondents most commonly used prescription (38%) and over-the-counter (OTC, 78%) non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and rest (69%) to manage pain. Men used more opioids, whereas women used more OTC NSAIDs (p < 0.05). Emergency department visits were associated with increased prescription drug use to manage pain. This study found that 15% of student pharmacists had chronic pain in the past five years, which was managed with medical and non-medical strategies. Full article
Open AccessArticle Treatment Strategy for Dyslipidemia in Cardiovascular Disease Prevention: Focus on Old and New Drugs
Received: 12 November 2017 / Revised: 8 January 2018 / Accepted: 11 January 2018 / Published: 21 January 2018
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Abstract
Prevention and treatment of dyslipidemia should be considered as an integral part of individual cardiovascular prevention interventions, which should be addressed primarily to those at higher risk who benefit most. To date, statins remain the first-choice therapy, as they have been shown to
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Prevention and treatment of dyslipidemia should be considered as an integral part of individual cardiovascular prevention interventions, which should be addressed primarily to those at higher risk who benefit most. To date, statins remain the first-choice therapy, as they have been shown to reduce the risk of major vascular events by lowering low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C). However, due to adherence to statin therapy or statin resistance, many patients do not reach LDL-C target levels. Ezetimibe, fibrates, and nicotinic acid represent the second-choice drugs to be used in combination with statins if lipid targets cannot be reached. In addition, anti-PCSK9 drugs (evolocumab and alirocumab) provide an effective solution for patients with familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) and statin intolerance at very high cardiovascular risk. Recently, studies demonstrated the effects of two novel lipid-lowering agents (lomitapide and mipomersen) for the management of homozygous FH by decreasing LDL-C values and reducing cardiovascular events. However, the costs for these new therapies made the cost–effectiveness debate more complicated. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Pharmacy Practice and Education in Latvia
Received: 8 December 2017 / Revised: 16 January 2018 / Accepted: 17 January 2018 / Published: 20 January 2018
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Abstract
The PHARMINE (“Pharmacy Education in Europe”) project studied the organisation of pharmacy practice and education in the member states of the European Union (EU). The work was carried out using an electronic survey sent to chosen pharmacy representatives. The surveys of
[...] Read more.
The PHARMINE (“Pharmacy Education in Europe”) project studied the organisation of pharmacy practice and education in the member states of the European Union (EU). The work was carried out using an electronic survey sent to chosen pharmacy representatives. The surveys of the individual member states are now being published as reference documents. This paper presents the results of the PHARMINE survey on pharmacy practice and education in Latvia. In the light of this, we examine the harmonisation of practice and education in Latvia with EU norms. Full article
Open AccessEditorial Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Pharmacy in 2017
Received: 16 January 2018 / Accepted: 16 January 2018 / Published: 16 January 2018
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Abstract
Peer review is an essential part in the publication process, ensuring that Pharmacy maintains high quality standards for its published papers.[...] Full article
Open AccessArticle Effects of Pharmacists’ Interventions on Inappropriate Drug Use and Drug-Related Readmissions in People with Dementia—A Secondary Analysis of a Randomized Controlled Trial
Received: 19 December 2017 / Revised: 10 January 2018 / Accepted: 12 January 2018 / Published: 16 January 2018
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Abstract
Age-associated physiological changes and extensive drug treatment including use of potentially inappropriate medications (PIMs) pose a significant risk of drug–drug interactions and adverse drug events among elderly people with dementia. This study aimed at analysing the effects of clinical pharmacists’ interventions on use
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Age-associated physiological changes and extensive drug treatment including use of potentially inappropriate medications (PIMs) pose a significant risk of drug–drug interactions and adverse drug events among elderly people with dementia. This study aimed at analysing the effects of clinical pharmacists’ interventions on use of PIMs, risk of emergency department visits, and time to institutionalization. Furthermore, a descriptive analysis was conducted of circumstances associated with drug-related readmissions. This is a secondary analysis of data from a randomized controlled intervention study conducted in two hospitals in Northern Sweden. The study included patients (n = 460) 65 years or older with dementia or cognitive impairment. The intervention consisted of comprehensive medication reviews conducted by clinical pharmacists as part of a healthcare team. There was a larger decrease in PIMs in the intervention group compared with the control group (p = 0.011). No significant difference was found in time to first all-cause emergency department visits (HR = 0.994, 95% CI = 0.755–1.307 p = 0.963, simple Cox regression) or time to institutionalization (HR = 0.761, 95% CI = 0.409–1.416 p = 0.389, simple Cox regression) within 180 days. Common reasons for drug-related readmissions were negative effects of sedatives, opioids, antidepressants, and anticholinergic agents, resulting in confusion, falling, and sedation. Drug-related readmissions were associated with living at home, heart failure, and diabetes. Pharmacist-provided interventions were able to reduce PIMs among elderly people with dementia and cognitive impairment. Full article
Open AccessArticle Assessing the Perceptions and Practice of Self-Medication among Bangladeshi Undergraduate Pharmacy Students
Received: 10 November 2017 / Revised: 26 December 2017 / Accepted: 1 January 2018 / Published: 15 January 2018
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Abstract
Objectives: To evaluate the perceptions and extent of practicing self-medication among undergraduate pharmacy students. Methods: This cross-sectional, questionnaire-based study was conducted over a six month period (January to June 2016) among undergraduate pharmacy students in five reputable public universities of Bangladesh. It involved
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Objectives: To evaluate the perceptions and extent of practicing self-medication among undergraduate pharmacy students. Methods: This cross-sectional, questionnaire-based study was conducted over a six month period (January to June 2016) among undergraduate pharmacy students in five reputable public universities of Bangladesh. It involved face-to-face interviews regarding self-medication of 250 respondents selected by simple random sampling. Results: Self-medication was reported by 88.0% of students. Antipyretics (58.40%) were mostly preferred for the treatment of fever and headaches. The major cause for self-medication was minor illness (59.60%, p = 0.73) while previous prescriptions were the main source of knowledge as well as the major factor (52.80%, p = 0.94) dominating the self-medication practice. The results also demonstrated 88.80% of students had previous knowledge on self-medication and 83.60% of students always checked the information on the label; mainly the expiry date before use (85.60%). A significant (p < 0.05) portion of the students (51% male and 43% female) perceived it was an acceptable practice as they considered self-medication to be a segment of self-care. Furthermore, students demonstrated differences in their response level towards the adverse effect of drugs, the health hazard by a higher dose of drug, a physician’s help in case of side effects, taking medicine without proper knowledge, and stopping selling medicine without prescription. Conclusions: Self-medication was commonly used among pharmacy students primarily for minor illnesses using over-the-counter medications. Although it is an inevitable practice for them it should be considered an important public health problem as this practice may increase the misuse or irrational use of medicines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pharmacy Education and Student / Practitioner Training)
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Open AccessArticle Pharmacy Practice and Education in Romania
Received: 14 December 2017 / Revised: 3 January 2018 / Accepted: 5 January 2018 / Published: 8 January 2018
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Abstract
The PHARMINE (“Pharmacy Education in Europe”) project examined the organisation of pharmacy practice and education in the European Union (EU). An electronic survey was sent out to representatives of different sectors (community, hospital, industrial pharmacists, university staff, and students) in each
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The PHARMINE (“Pharmacy Education in Europe”) project examined the organisation of pharmacy practice and education in the European Union (EU). An electronic survey was sent out to representatives of different sectors (community, hospital, industrial pharmacists, university staff, and students) in each individual EU member state. This paper presents the results of the PHARMINE survey on pharmacy practice and education in Romania. In the light of this data we examine to what extent harmonisation of practice and education with EU norms has occurred, whether this has promoted mobility of pharmacy professionals, academics and students, and what impact it has had on healthcare in Romania. The survey reveals the substantial changes in Romanian pharmacy practice and education since the 1989 change in government and Romania joining the EU in 2007. Romania remains, however, a poor country with expenditure on healthcare less than one-third of the EU average. This factor also impacts pharmacy practice. Although practice seems aligned with EU norms, this masks the substantial imbalance between the situation in the richer capital, Bucharest, and that of the poorer countryside. Harmonisation to EU norms in pharmacy education has not promoted student exchange and mobility but, rather, a brain drain in pharmaceutical graduates to other EU countries. Specialisation in industrial practice has been lost since 1989 with pharmacists being replaced by chemists. In hospitals the hospital pharmacist is being replaced by the clinical pharmacist. Full article
Open AccessArticle Development of a Communication Strategy to Increase Interprofessional Collaboration in the Outpatient Setting
Received: 7 August 2017 / Revised: 16 December 2017 / Accepted: 3 January 2018 / Published: 6 January 2018
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Abstract
Managing patient health is a complex task, requiring the support of an interprofessional healthcare team. Collaboration between neighboring community pharmacies and primary care practices can be an alternate solution for team-based patient care. The purpose of this project was to design and implement
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Managing patient health is a complex task, requiring the support of an interprofessional healthcare team. Collaboration between neighboring community pharmacies and primary care practices can be an alternate solution for team-based patient care. The purpose of this project was to design and implement a communication strategy for patients with diabetes and hypertension between a community pharmacy and physician practice. An interprofessional team for the practice settings was formed to develop a strategy for collaboration. After agreeing on the common goals and target patient population for the disease states, the team devised a way to communicate via electronic health record (EHR). The communication strategy allowed for more frequent follow-up with the patients which has the potential to result in better clinical outcomes. A communication strategy between a community pharmacy and a physician practice office can be achieved using EHR technology. The greatest outcome of this project was the formation of the collaborative team between the practice settings that continues to work together on additional patient-centered initiatives. Further research is warranted to allow for incorporation of patient perspectives in development of communication strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impact of Pharmacists in the Community Setting)
Open AccessArticle Exploring the Knowledge and Perception of Generic Medicines among Final Year Undergraduate Medical, Pharmacy, and Nursing Students in Sierra Leone: A Comparative Cross-Sectional Approach
Received: 12 October 2017 / Revised: 22 December 2017 / Accepted: 1 January 2018 / Published: 4 January 2018
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Abstract
Most low-income nations have national medicine policy that emphasized the use of generic medicines in the public health sector. However, the use of generics is often debatable as there are concerns over its efficacy, quality, and safety compared to their branded counterparts. This
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Most low-income nations have national medicine policy that emphasized the use of generic medicines in the public health sector. However, the use of generics is often debatable as there are concerns over its efficacy, quality, and safety compared to their branded counterparts. This study was conducted to compare the knowledge and perception of generic medicines among final year undergraduate medical, pharmacy, and nursing students in Sierra Leone. We conducted a questionnaire-based cross-sectional study among these students at the College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences University of Sierra Leone. Out of the 62 students, only two (2/62, 3.2%) knew about the acceptable bioequivalence limit. At least half of respondents in all three groups agreed that all generics are therapeutically equivalent to their innovator brand. At least half of the medicine (21/42, 50%) and nursing (6/9, 66.6%) students, compared to pharmacy students (5/11, 45.5%), believed that higher safety standards are required for proprietary medicines than for generic medicines. Most of them agreed that they need more information on the safety, quality, and efficacy aspects of generics (59/62, 95.2%). All three groups of healthcare students, despite variations in their responses, demonstrated a deficiency in knowledge and misconception regarding generic medicines. Training on issues surrounding generic drugs in healthcare training institutions is highly needed among future healthcare providers in Sierra Leone. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pharmacy Education and Student / Practitioner Training)
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Open AccessArticle Impact of Pharmacist-Conducted Comprehensive Medication Reviews for Older Adult Patients to Reduce Medication Related Problems
Received: 1 September 2017 / Revised: 20 November 2017 / Accepted: 21 November 2017 / Published: 31 December 2017
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Abstract
Older adults are demanding increased healthcare attention with regards to prescription use due in large part to highly complex medication regimens. As patients age, medications often have a more pronounced effect on older adults, negatively impacting patient safety and increasing healthcare costs. Comprehensive
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Older adults are demanding increased healthcare attention with regards to prescription use due in large part to highly complex medication regimens. As patients age, medications often have a more pronounced effect on older adults, negatively impacting patient safety and increasing healthcare costs. Comprehensive medication reviews (CMRs) optimize medications for elderly patients and help to avoid inappropriate medication use. Previous literature has shown that such CMRs can successfully identify and reduce the number of medication-related problems and improve acute healthcare utilization. The purpose of this pharmacy resident research study is to examine the impact of pharmacist-conducted geriatric medication reviews to reduce medication-related problems within a leading community health system in southwest Michigan. Furthermore, the study examines type of pharmacist interventions made during medication reviews, acute healthcare utilization, and physician assessment of the pharmacist’s value. The study was conducted as a retrospective post-hoc analysis on ambulatory patients who received a CMR by a pharmacist at a primary care practice. Inclusion criteria included patients over 65 years of age with concurrent use of at least five medications who were a recent recipient of a CMR. Exclusion criteria included patients with renal failure, or those with multiple providers involved in primary care. The primary outcome was the difference in number of medication-related problems, as defined by the START and STOPP Criteria (Screening Tool to Alert doctors to Right Treatment/Screening Tool of Older Persons’ Prescriptions). Secondary outcomes included hospitalizations, emergency department visits, number and type of pharmacist interventions, acceptance rate of pharmacist recommendations, and assessment of the pharmacist’s value by clinic providers. There were a total of 26 patients that received a comprehensive medication review from the pharmacist and were compared to a control group, patients that did not receive a CMR. The average patient age for both groups was 76 years old. A total of 11 medication-related problems in the intervention group patients were identified compared with 24 medication-related problems in the control group (p-value 0.002). Pharmacist-led comprehensive medication reviews were associated with a statistically significant different in the number of medication-related problems as defined by the START and STOPP criteria. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Thinking in Pharmacy Practice: A Study of Community Pharmacists’ Clinical Reasoning in Medication Supply Using the Think-Aloud Method
Received: 29 November 2017 / Revised: 21 December 2017 / Accepted: 22 December 2017 / Published: 31 December 2017
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Abstract
Medication review and supply by pharmacists involves both cognitive and technical skills related to the safety and appropriateness of prescribed medicines. The cognitive ability of pharmacists to recall, synthesise and memorise information is a critical aspect of safe and optimal medicines use, yet
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Medication review and supply by pharmacists involves both cognitive and technical skills related to the safety and appropriateness of prescribed medicines. The cognitive ability of pharmacists to recall, synthesise and memorise information is a critical aspect of safe and optimal medicines use, yet few studies have investigated the clinical reasoning and decision-making processes pharmacists use when supplying prescribed medicines. The objective of this study was to examine the patterns and processes of pharmacists’ clinical reasoning and to identify the information sources used, when making decisions about the safety and appropriateness of prescribed medicines. Ten community pharmacists participated in a simulation in which they were required to review a prescription and make decisions about the safety and appropriateness of supplying the prescribed medicines to the patient, whilst at the same time thinking aloud about the tasks required. Following the simulation each pharmacist was asked a series of questions to prompt retrospective thinking aloud using video-stimulated recall. The simulated consultation and retrospective interview were recorded and transcribed for thematic analysis. All of the pharmacists made a safe and appropriate supply of two prescribed medicines to the simulated patient. Qualitative analysis identified seven core thinking processes used during the supply process: considering prescription in context, retrieving information, identifying medication-related issues, processing information, collaborative planning, decision making and reflection; and align closely with other health professionals. The insights from this study have implications for enhancing awareness of decision making processes in pharmacy practice and informing teaching and assessment approaches in medication supply. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Qualitative Methods in Pharmacy Research)
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