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Pharmacy, Volume 5, Issue 3 (September 2017)

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Editorial

Jump to: Research, Review, Other

Open AccessEditorial The Country Profiles of the PHARMINE Survey of European Higher Educational Institutions Delivering Pharmacy Education and Training
Pharmacy 2017, 5(3), 34; doi:10.3390/pharmacy5030034
Received: 6 June 2017 / Revised: 6 June 2017 / Accepted: 19 June 2017 / Published: 22 June 2017
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Abstract
The PHARMINE (Pharmacy Education in Europe) consortium surveyed pharmacy education and practice in 2012. Surveys were updated in 2017 for publication. The PHARMINE consortium was especially interested in specialization in pharmacy education and practice (for community, hospital, and industrial pharmacy), and in the
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The PHARMINE (Pharmacy Education in Europe) consortium surveyed pharmacy education and practice in 2012. Surveys were updated in 2017 for publication. The PHARMINE consortium was especially interested in specialization in pharmacy education and practice (for community, hospital, and industrial pharmacy), and in the impact of the Bologna agreement and the directive of the European Commission on education and training for the sectoral profession of pharmacy on European degree courses. The surveys underline the varying attitudes of the different European countries to these various aspects. The surveys will now be published in Pharmacy. They will be useful to researchers in education, and to staff and students interested in mobility amongst different European and/or non-European countries. In order to assure a full understanding of the country profiles to be published in the journal Pharmacy, this introductory article describes the general format of the survey questionnaire used. Full article

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review, Other

Open AccessArticle Pharmacy Practice and Education in Bulgaria
Pharmacy 2017, 5(3), 35; doi:10.3390/pharmacy5030035
Received: 15 March 2017 / Revised: 6 June 2017 / Accepted: 18 June 2017 / Published: 22 June 2017
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Abstract
Pharmacies in Bulgaria have a monopoly on the dispensing of medicinal products that are authorized in the Republic of Bulgaria, as well as medical devices, food additives, cosmetics, and sanitary/hygienic articles. Aptekari (pharmacists) act as responsible pharmacists, pharmacy owners, and managers. They follow
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Pharmacies in Bulgaria have a monopoly on the dispensing of medicinal products that are authorized in the Republic of Bulgaria, as well as medical devices, food additives, cosmetics, and sanitary/hygienic articles. Aptekari (pharmacists) act as responsible pharmacists, pharmacy owners, and managers. They follow a five year Masters of Science in Pharmacy (M.Sc. Pharm.) degree course with a six month traineeship. Pomoshnik-farmacevti (assistant pharmacists) follow a three year degree with a six month traineeship. They can prepare medicines and dispense OTC medicines under the supervision of a pharmacist. The first and second year of the M.Sc. Pharm. degree are devoted to chemical sciences, mathematics, botany and medical sciences. Years three and four center on pharmaceutical technology, pharmacology, pharmacognosy, pharmaco-economics, and social pharmacy, while year five focuses on pharmaceutical care, patient counselling, pharmacotherapy, and medical sciences. A six month traineeship finishes the fifth year together with redaction of a master thesis, and the four state examinations with which university studies end. Industrial pharmacy and clinical (hospital) pharmacy practice are integrated disciplines in some Bulgarian higher education institutions such as the Faculty of Pharmacy of the Medical University of Sofia. Pharmacy practice and education in Bulgaria are organized in a fashion very similar to that in most member states of the European Union. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Knowledge, Attitude, and Perceptions of Pharmacists and Pharmacy Students towards Pharmacogenomics in Zimbabwe
Pharmacy 2017, 5(3), 36; doi:10.3390/pharmacy5030036
Received: 19 May 2017 / Revised: 21 June 2017 / Accepted: 22 June 2017 / Published: 30 June 2017
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Abstract
The potential of pharmacogenomics (PGx) to positively impact health outcomes and quality of healthcare is well-established. However, the application of available evidence into clinical practice is still limited due to limited knowledge among healthcare professionals, including pharmacists. As a start towards building capacity
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The potential of pharmacogenomics (PGx) to positively impact health outcomes and quality of healthcare is well-established. However, the application of available evidence into clinical practice is still limited due to limited knowledge among healthcare professionals, including pharmacists. As a start towards building capacity for PGx education, we assessed knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions about PGx among practising pharmacists and pharmacy students. A cross-sectional study was conducted among pharmacists and undergraduate pharmacy students selected using a convenient sampling method—a 37-question survey instrument was used to obtain information regarding PGx among the participants. Out of a total of 131 participants, 56% of respondents showed fair-to-good PGx knowledge. Respondents’ self-reported assessment indicated that 88% had average and above knowledge scores in PGx. Practising pharmacists in Zimbabwe have positive attitudes towards PGx and would support its application to improve treatments. However, there were concerns about security and discrimination when genomics data is used by those who do not understand its meaning. Participants agreed that they would play a leading role in PGx testing if provided with appropriate training. The interest in PGx is challenged by their limited knowledge and understanding of genetics, suggesting a need to update curricula for pharmacy students and for continuing health education programmes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pharmacy Education and Student / Practitioner Training)
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Open AccessArticle Assessment of Drug Information Service in Public and Private Sector Tertiary Care Hospitals in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia
Pharmacy 2017, 5(3), 37; doi:10.3390/pharmacy5030037
Received: 20 May 2017 / Revised: 27 June 2017 / Accepted: 30 June 2017 / Published: 4 July 2017
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Abstract
Drug information service is a dedicated and specialized service provided by pharmacists to enhance knowledge of medicines use, promote rational prescribing among prescribers, and reduce medication errors. Saudi Arabia has a National Drug and Poison Information Center (NDPIC) responsible for answering drug queries.
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Drug information service is a dedicated and specialized service provided by pharmacists to enhance knowledge of medicines use, promote rational prescribing among prescribers, and reduce medication errors. Saudi Arabia has a National Drug and Poison Information Center (NDPIC) responsible for answering drug queries. There is a lack of literature that reports the current scenario of drug information services in the country, especially the Eastern Province. This study reported the current status of drug information services being provided among tertiary care hospitals of the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. All hospitals provided drug information services. The qualification of personnel was mostly bachelor’s level (46.2%) and without proper training (54.8%). The most common queries received in a day were related to drug alternatives, dosage, and administration, as well as the availability of drugs. Physicians were the main users of the service. The most common health resources employed for the service was Lexi-Comp (76.9%) and Micromedex (69.2%). The use of Saudi National Formulary was not reported by any hospital, which highlights a potential research gap to address i.e., to investigate the lack of use of SNF by practitioners. Full article
Open AccessArticle Experiential Education Builds Student Self-Confidence in Delivering Medication Therapy Management
Pharmacy 2017, 5(3), 39; doi:10.3390/pharmacy5030039
Received: 6 June 2017 / Revised: 1 July 2017 / Accepted: 4 July 2017 / Published: 11 July 2017
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Abstract
To determine the impact of advanced pharmacy practice experiences (APPE) on student self-confidence related to medication therapy management (MTM), fourth-year pharmacy students were surveyed pre/post APPE to: identify exposure to MTM learning opportunities, assess knowledge of the MTM core components, and assess self-confidence
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To determine the impact of advanced pharmacy practice experiences (APPE) on student self-confidence related to medication therapy management (MTM), fourth-year pharmacy students were surveyed pre/post APPE to: identify exposure to MTM learning opportunities, assess knowledge of the MTM core components, and assess self-confidence performing MTM services. An anonymous electronic questionnaire administered pre/post APPE captured demographics, factors predicted to impact student self-confidence (Grade point average (GPA), work experience, exposure to MTM learning opportunities), MTM knowledge and self-confidence conducting MTM using a 5-point Likert scale (1 = Not at all Confident; 5 = Extremely Confident). Sixty-two students (26% response rate) responded to the pre-APPE questionnaire and n = 44 (18%) to the post-APPE. Over 90% demonstrated MTM knowledge and 68.2% completed MTM learning activities. APPE experiences significantly improved students’ overall self-confidence (pre-APPE = 3.27 (0.85 SD), post-APPE = 4.02 (0.88), p < 0.001). Students engaging in MTM learning opportunities had higher self-confidence post-APPE (4.20 (0.71)) vs. those not reporting MTM learning opportunities (3.64 (1.08), p = 0.05). Post-APPE, fewer students reported MTM was patient-centric or anticipated engaging in MTM post-graduation. APPE learning opportunities increased student self-confidence to provide MTM services. However, the reduction in anticipated engagement in MTM post-graduation and reduction in sensing the patient-centric nature of MTM practice, may reveal a gap between practice expectations and reality. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Defining the Role of the Pharmacy Technician and Identifying Their Future Role in Medicines Optimisation
Pharmacy 2017, 5(3), 40; doi:10.3390/pharmacy5030040
Received: 21 June 2017 / Revised: 11 July 2017 / Accepted: 12 July 2017 / Published: 15 July 2017
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Abstract
Background: Traditionally, pharmacy technicians have worked alongside pharmacists in community and hospital pharmacy. Changes within pharmacy provide opportunity for role expansion and with no apparent career pathway, there is a need to define the current pharmacy technician role and role in medicines optimisation.
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Background: Traditionally, pharmacy technicians have worked alongside pharmacists in community and hospital pharmacy. Changes within pharmacy provide opportunity for role expansion and with no apparent career pathway, there is a need to define the current pharmacy technician role and role in medicines optimisation. Aim: To capture the current roles of pharmacy technicians and identify how their future role will contribute to medicines optimisation. Methods: Following ethical approval and piloting, an online survey to ascertain pharmacy technicians’ views about their roles was undertaken. Recruitment took place in collaboration with the Association of Pharmacy Technicians UK. Data were exported to SPSS, data screened and descriptive statistics produced. Free text responses were analysed and tasks collated into categories reflecting the type of work involved in each task. Results: Responses received were 393 (28%, n = 1380). Results were organised into five groups: i.e., hospital, community, primary care, General Practitioner (GP) practice and other (which included HM Prison Service). Thirty tasks were reported as commonly undertaken in three or more settings and 206 (84.7%, n = 243) pharmacy technicians reported they would like to expand their role. Conclusions: Tasks core to hospital and community pharmacy should be considered for inclusion to initial education standards to reflect current practice. Post qualification, pharmacy technicians indicate a significant desire to expand clinically and managerially allowing pharmacists more time in patient-facing/clinical roles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Services Research in the Use of Medicines)
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Open AccessArticle Knowledge, Attitude and Advice-Giving Behaviour of Community Pharmacists Regarding Topical Corticosteroids
Pharmacy 2017, 5(3), 41; doi:10.3390/pharmacy5030041
Received: 27 June 2017 / Revised: 20 July 2017 / Accepted: 23 July 2017 / Published: 25 July 2017
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Abstract
This study examines the relationship between community pharmacists’ knowledge, attitudes to information provision and self-reported counselling behaviours in relation to topical corticosteroids and adjunct therapy in atopic eczema. A mixed-methods approach was used whereby data from interviews with community pharmacists were used to
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This study examines the relationship between community pharmacists’ knowledge, attitudes to information provision and self-reported counselling behaviours in relation to topical corticosteroids and adjunct therapy in atopic eczema. A mixed-methods approach was used whereby data from interviews with community pharmacists were used to design a structured questionnaire that a larger sample of community pharmacists completed anonymously. The questionnaire was completed and returned by 105 pharmacists (36% response rate). Pharmacists showed gaps in their knowledge on the use of topical corticosteroids in atopic eczema but had good understanding on the use of emollients. There was a significant correlation between pharmacists’ attitudes to information provision and their self-reported counselling behaviour for most themes except in relation to corticosteroid safety where less advice was given. Improving attitudes to information provision should correlate with increased counselling behaviour. However, for the theme of corticosteroid safety, further studies are needed to examine why in practice pharmacists are not providing patient counselling on this topic even though most agreed this is a topic patients should know about. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Community Pharmacists’ Knowledge Regarding Donepezil Averse Effects and Self-Care Recommendations for Insomnia for Persons with AD
Pharmacy 2017, 5(3), 42; doi:10.3390/pharmacy5030042
Received: 4 July 2017 / Revised: 25 July 2017 / Accepted: 25 July 2017 / Published: 28 July 2017
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Abstract
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) impacts millions of individuals worldwide. Since no cure is currently available, acetylcholinesterase inhibitors are symptomatic therapy. This study assessed community pharmacists’ knowledge regarding donepezil adverse effects (AEs) and self-care recommendations for insomnia management for persons with AD treated with rivastigmine.
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Alzheimer’s disease (AD) impacts millions of individuals worldwide. Since no cure is currently available, acetylcholinesterase inhibitors are symptomatic therapy. This study assessed community pharmacists’ knowledge regarding donepezil adverse effects (AEs) and self-care recommendations for insomnia management for persons with AD treated with rivastigmine. This is a cross-sectional, standardized telephone survey of community pharmacists (n = 862) in three study areas: West Virginia, North Dakota/South Dakota, and Southern Oregon/Northern California. Pharmacists’ degree, sex, and pharmacists’ AD-related knowledge were assessed. In-stock availability of donepezil and rivastigmine formulations was assessed. Analyses were performed using Stata 10.1. Only 31.4% pharmacists were able to name ≥2 donepezil AEs. Only four donepezil AEs were named by at least 13% of pharmacists: nausea (36.1%), dizziness (25.1%), diarrhea (15.0%), and vomiting (13.9%). All other AEs were named by fewer than 7% of respondents. Only 62.9% of pharmacists (n = 542) provided appropriate recommendations: melatonin (40.3%), referral to physician (22.0%), or sleep hygiene (0.6%). Over 12% of pharmacists (n = 107) provided inappropriate recommendations (anticholinergic agent or valerian root) and 21.5% of pharmacists were unable to provide any recommendation. We identified significant gaps in community pharmacists’ knowledge regarding donepezil AEs and non-prescription insomnia recommendation needing significant improvement to ensure high-quality AD-related care. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Services Research in the Use of Medicines)
Open AccessArticle Pharmacists’ Attitudes and Perceived Barriers to Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccination Services
Pharmacy 2017, 5(3), 45; doi:10.3390/pharmacy5030045
Received: 15 May 2017 / Revised: 5 June 2017 / Accepted: 3 August 2017 / Published: 7 August 2017
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Abstract
Use of non-traditional settings such as community pharmacies has been suggested to increase human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination uptake and completion rates. The objectives of this study were to explore HPV vaccination services and strategies employed by pharmacies to increase HPV vaccine uptake, pharmacists’
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Use of non-traditional settings such as community pharmacies has been suggested to increase human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination uptake and completion rates. The objectives of this study were to explore HPV vaccination services and strategies employed by pharmacies to increase HPV vaccine uptake, pharmacists’ attitudes towards the HPV vaccine, and pharmacists’ perceived barriers to providing HPV vaccination services in community pharmacies. A pre-piloted mail survey was sent to 350 randomly selected community pharmacies in Alabama in 2014. Measures included types of vaccines administered and marketing/recommendation strategies, pharmacists’ attitudes towards the HPV vaccine, and perceived system and parental barriers. Data analysis largely took the form of descriptive statistics. 154 pharmacists completed the survey (response rate = 44%). The majority believed vaccination is the best protection against cervical cancer (85.3%), HPV is a serious threat to health for girls (78.8%) and boys (55.6%), and children should not wait until they are sexually active to be vaccinated (80.1%). Perceived system barriers included insufficient patient demand (56.5%), insurance plans not covering vaccination cost (54.8%), and vaccine expiration before use (54.1%). Respondents also perceived parents to have inadequate education and understanding about HPV infection (86.6%) and vaccine safety (78.7%). Pharmacists have positive perceptions regarding the HPV vaccine. Barriers related to system factors and perceived parental concerns must be overcome to increase pharmacist involvement in HPV vaccinations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impact of Pharmacists in the Community Setting)
Open AccessArticle Current Status and Future Suggestions for Improving the Pharm. D Curriculum towards Clinical Pharmacy Practice in Pakistan
Pharmacy 2017, 5(3), 46; doi:10.3390/pharmacy5030046
Received: 21 April 2017 / Revised: 19 July 2017 / Accepted: 24 July 2017 / Published: 17 August 2017
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Abstract
Objectives & Background: Good curriculum is reflected as the backbone for standard universities to develop competitive professionals having great potential. Pharmacy education in Pakistan has gone through the same developmental stages as in other countries, but is still striving for improvement. In
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Objectives & Background: Good curriculum is reflected as the backbone for standard universities to develop competitive professionals having great potential. Pharmacy education in Pakistan has gone through the same developmental stages as in other countries, but is still striving for improvement. In the present study, we want (i) to know the opinion on whether the current pharmacy curriculum requires any improvement in order to meet the training needs of pharmacy professionals regarding clinical knowledge and pharmacy practice; and (ii) to present some humble suggestions to decision-making authorities in order to improve it with respect to patient-focused programs (PFP). Methods: The study was conducted in two sessions. In first session, a questionnaire was distributed to pharmacy students of eight public/private sector universities of Karachi (N = 354) offering Pharm. D degrees. The second session dealt with the pharmacy teachers, deans, and practicing pharmacists in health care facilities (who are in any ways also related to academia), in order to take their opinions on and suggestions for the development of a better Pharm. D curriculum (N = 135). Results: Our results showed that 75.2% of respondents agree that the Pharm. D curriculum does not meet the international standards of practice, and 88.4% of respondents support the addition of more clinical aspects than industrial ones, as Pharm. D could be both clinically and industrially oriented, according to the needs of the Pakistani people. Furthermore, 80.2% of respondents are of the view that an apprenticeship should be included in last two years, while 88.4% demand a ‘paid residency program’ to facilitate the hospital, clinical and compounding areas of pharmacy. In addition, we also received a number of verbal suggestions for improving the Pharm. D curriculum being followed in Pakistan. Discussion & Conclusions: We conclude that our Pharm. D curriculum needs additions in terms of clinical practice by providing residencies and electives in health care settings. Accordingly, the need for a clinically oriented curriculum is highlighted in Pakistan, keeping in mind the continuing importance of the industrial viewpoint. Various studies have criticized the pharmacy curriculum in Pakistan in the past. Conversely, we suggest some changes in the curriculum, as change is always needed for a better tomorrow. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pharmacy Education and Student / Practitioner Training)
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Open AccessArticle Students’ Satisfaction with a Web-Based Pharmacy Program in a Re-Regulated Pharmacy Market
Pharmacy 2017, 5(3), 47; doi:10.3390/pharmacy5030047
Received: 6 July 2017 / Revised: 17 August 2017 / Accepted: 22 August 2017 / Published: 25 August 2017
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Abstract
In response to the shortage of pharmacists in Northern Sweden, a web-based Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy program was established at Umeå University in 2003. In 2009, the Swedish pharmacy market was re-regulated from a state monopoly to an open market, but it
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In response to the shortage of pharmacists in Northern Sweden, a web-based Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy program was established at Umeå University in 2003. In 2009, the Swedish pharmacy market was re-regulated from a state monopoly to an open market, but it is unknown what impact this has had on education satisfaction. The objectives of this study were to examine the level of satisfaction among graduates from a web-based pharmacy program and to describe what subjects and skills students would have liked more or less of in their education. A secondary objective was to compare the level of satisfaction before and after the Swedish pharmacy market was re-regulated. A cross-sectional survey was conducted in 2015 with all alumni who had graduated from the pharmacy program between 2006 and 2014 (n = 511), and responses to questions about graduates’ satisfaction with the program were analyzed (n = 200). Most graduates (88%) agreed or strongly agreed that the knowledge and skills acquired during their education were useful in their current job. The graduates stated that they would have wanted more applied pharmacy practice and self-care counselling, and fewer social pharmacy and histology courses. Further, 82% stated that they would start the same degree program if they were to choose again today, and 92% agreed or strongly agreed that they would recommend the program to a prospective student. Graduates were more likely to recommend the program after the re-regulation (p = 0.007). In conclusion, pharmacy graduates were very satisfied with their education, and no negative effects of the re-regulation could be observed on program satisfaction. Full article
Open AccessArticle Community Pharmacists’ Involvement in Research in the United Kingdom
Pharmacy 2017, 5(3), 48; doi:10.3390/pharmacy5030048
Received: 1 August 2017 / Revised: 15 August 2017 / Accepted: 23 August 2017 / Published: 28 August 2017
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Abstract
Puropse. To investigate the engagement of community pharmacists (CPs) with pharmacy research and identify barriers preventing them from doing so. In addition, to determine the training and research tools available to support CPs to take part in research. Methods. A questionnaire
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Puropse. To investigate the engagement of community pharmacists (CPs) with pharmacy research and identify barriers preventing them from doing so. In addition, to determine the training and research tools available to support CPs to take part in research. Methods. A questionnaire was designed and distributed to a sample of community pharmacies (n = 323) within five local authorities in England, and to a random sample of community pharmacies (n = 329) within Greater London in two stages. Descriptive statistics were used to analyse the data using Microsoft Excel. Following questionnaire completion, CPs were invited to take part in face-to-face and telephone interviews to further explore their views on research. Interviews were transcribed and analysed using coding and thematic analysis. Results. A total of 104 questionnaires were completed out of 652 distributed. Over half (56.7%) of respondents considered research to be important to their practice. Approximately 88% of respondents had completed some form of mandatory research in the past two years, while only 29% were involved in non-mandatory research. Over two-thirds (67.9%) wanted to engage with research in the future, with 22.2% of these being most interested in recruiting patients for research. Barriers to research included lack of time (90%) and lack of remuneration (60%). 20 community pharmacists were interviewed. Three themes were identified: 1. Interest in taking part in research; 2. Awareness, support and knowledge; 3. Resources as barriers. Conclusion. CPs recognise the importance of research in their current practice, however, the biggest barrier they face is time. Further training may be useful to ensure CPs are adequately prepared to undertake research activities. Full article
Open AccessArticle Development and Implementation of a Global Health Elective with a Drug Discovery Game for Pharmacy Students
Pharmacy 2017, 5(3), 49; doi:10.3390/pharmacy5030049
Received: 25 July 2017 / Revised: 18 August 2017 / Accepted: 24 August 2017 / Published: 28 August 2017
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Abstract
Interest in global health education within the pharmacy curriculum has increased significantly in recent years. However, discussion of different models and methods to evaluate course structures are limited. The overall objective was to (1) describe the structure of our global health elective for
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Interest in global health education within the pharmacy curriculum has increased significantly in recent years. However, discussion of different models and methods to evaluate course structures are limited. The overall objective was to (1) describe the structure of our global health elective for pharmacy students, and (2) assess educational outcomes related to perceived/formal knowledge and attitudes associated with global health. Our elective was designed using a competency-centered approach to global health education, incorporating reflection, projects, service and game-learning. In addition to course assessments, a pre-post survey questionnaire assessing attitudes, knowledge perception, formalized knowledge and opinions was utilized. Overall, students demonstrated appropriate performance on course assessments, temporally improving throughout longitudinal projects. The survey demonstrated significant increases in knowledge perception as a result of the course; however, no change in formalized knowledge was evident through the survey assessment. Additionally, the incorporation of game-learning into the course was well received by students. Future iterations of the course will focus on utilization of different assessment methods to meet learning outcomes. Full article
Open AccessArticle Prevalence of Self-Medication among Students of Pharmacy and Medicine Colleges of a Public Sector University in Dammam City, Saudi Arabia
Pharmacy 2017, 5(3), 51; doi:10.3390/pharmacy5030051
Received: 11 July 2017 / Revised: 22 August 2017 / Accepted: 30 August 2017 / Published: 4 September 2017
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Abstract
Pharmacy and medical students are expected to be more knowledgeable regarding rational use of medications as compared to the general public. A cross-sectional study was conducted among students of pharmacy and medicine colleges of Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University in Dammam, Saudi Arabia
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Pharmacy and medical students are expected to be more knowledgeable regarding rational use of medications as compared to the general public. A cross-sectional study was conducted among students of pharmacy and medicine colleges of Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University in Dammam, Saudi Arabia using a survey questionnaire. The duration of the study was six months. The aim was to report self-medication prevalence of prescription and non-prescription drugs among pharmacy and medical students. The prevalence of self-medication in the pharmacy college was reported at 19.61%. Prevalence of self-medication at the medical college was documented at 49.3%. The prevalence of multivitamin use was reported at 30.53%, analgesics; 72.35%, antihistamines; 39.16%, and antibiotic use at 16.59%. The prevalence of anti-diarrheal medicines and antacids use among students was found to be 8.63% and 6.64%, respectively. The variable of college and study year was statistically associated with the nature of the medicines. The most common justifications given by students indulging in self-medication were ‘mild problems’ and ‘previous experience with medicines’. Our study reported that prevalence of self-medication in the College of Clinical Pharmacy was low, i.e., 19.61%. The figure has been reported for the first time. Students were mostly observed self-medicating with OTC drugs, however, some reported using corticosteroids and isotretenoin, which are quite dangerous if self-medicated. Students have a positive outlook towards pharmacists as drug information experts. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Validating the Modified Drug Adherence Work-Up (M-DRAW) Tool to Identify and Address Barriers to Medication Adherence
Pharmacy 2017, 5(3), 52; doi:10.3390/pharmacy5030052
Received: 4 August 2017 / Revised: 29 August 2017 / Accepted: 5 September 2017 / Published: 8 September 2017
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Abstract
Barriers to medication adherence stem from multiple factors. An effective and convenient tool is needed to identify these barriers so that clinicians can provide a tailored, patient-centered consultation with patients. The Modified Drug Adherence Work-up Tool (M-DRAW) was developed as a 13-item checklist
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Barriers to medication adherence stem from multiple factors. An effective and convenient tool is needed to identify these barriers so that clinicians can provide a tailored, patient-centered consultation with patients. The Modified Drug Adherence Work-up Tool (M-DRAW) was developed as a 13-item checklist questionnaire to identify barriers to medication adherence. The response scale was a 4-point Likert scale of frequency of occurrence (1 = never to 4 = often). The checklist was accompanied by a GUIDE that provided corresponding motivational interview-based intervention strategies for each identified barrier. The current pilot study examined the psychometric properties of the M-DRAW checklist (reliability, responsiveness and discriminant validity) in patients taking one or more prescription medication(s) for chronic conditions. A cross-sectional sample of 26 patients was recruited between December 2015 and March 2016 at an academic medical center pharmacy in Southern California. A priming question that assessed self-reported adherence was used to separate participants into the control group of 17 “adherers” (65.4%), and into the intervention group of nine “unintentional and intentional non-adherers” (34.6%). Comparable baseline characteristics were observed between the two groups. The M-DRAW checklist showed acceptable reliability (13 item; alpha = 0.74) for identifying factors and barriers leading to medication non-adherence. Discriminant validity of the tool and the priming question was established by the four-fold number of barriers to adherence identified within the self-selected intervention group compared to the control group (4.4 versus 1.2 barriers, p < 0.05). The current study did not investigate construct validity due to small sample size and challenges on follow-up with patients. Future testing of the tool will include construct validation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Exploring a Problem-Based Learning Approach in Pharmaceutics
Pharmacy 2017, 5(3), 53; doi:10.3390/pharmacy5030053
Received: 29 June 2017 / Revised: 12 September 2017 / Accepted: 13 September 2017 / Published: 20 September 2017
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Abstract
Objective. The basis of this study was to explore the impact of the initiation of a Problem-Base Learning (PBL) approach within a second-year pharmaceutics degree on a Master of Pharmacy programme, introduced as a way of improving deep learning and to foster independent
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Objective. The basis of this study was to explore the impact of the initiation of a Problem-Base Learning (PBL) approach within a second-year pharmaceutics degree on a Master of Pharmacy programme, introduced as a way of improving deep learning and to foster independent learning. Design. A semi-structured interview was used to seek feedback from the students, and feedback from staff was secured though a focus group. A thematic approach was used for the analysis, once data saturation had been reached. Exam pass-rate statistics were also analysed. Assessment. Five parent themes were identified from the student interviews: Module structure, Promoting lifelong learning, Integration and future practice, Outcomes and Student experience. The third year exam pass rate improved by 12% in the year following the introduction of PBL in second year. Conclusions. Various recommendations were proposed to further improve the module, based on the findings of this study. These include improving feedback and support through tutorials, reducing the volume of directed study, as well as highlighting the relevance of pharmaceutics to the pharmacy degree. A long-term review would be needed to assess the full implications of PBL teaching within this course. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview Development of Pharmacy Practice in European Countries—The Polish Perspective
Pharmacy 2017, 5(3), 43; doi:10.3390/pharmacy5030043
Received: 8 June 2017 / Revised: 30 July 2017 / Accepted: 30 July 2017 / Published: 2 August 2017
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Abstract
Polish pharmacy practice and the distribution of medicinal products in some European countries are still going through a significant transformation. Changes postulated by the pharmacists should strengthen their role, and the place of community pharmacies in the health care system in the context
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Polish pharmacy practice and the distribution of medicinal products in some European countries are still going through a significant transformation. Changes postulated by the pharmacists should strengthen their role, and the place of community pharmacies in the health care system in the context of—among others—the introduction and popularization of pharmaceutical care. Subsequently, these efforts may essentially ensure the professional independence of the pharmacists. The introduction of pharmaceutical care to the pharmacy practice in all European countries will help to improve the quality of patient care and treatment outcomes, and will lead to a better allocation of available resources. Herewith, we present an important voice in the international debate, showing the current changes in the pharmacy practice in Poland, a European Union (EU)-member from 2004. Indeed, this paper presents the perspective of the country in which the position of pharmaceutical care is not well-established, and the role of the pharmacist is still limited to dispensing medicinal products, more than decade after it joined EU. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pharmacy Education and Student / Practitioner Training)
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Open AccessProject Report How Do Pharmacists Develop into Advanced Level Practitioners? Learning from the Experiences of Critical Care Pharmacists
Pharmacy 2017, 5(3), 38; doi:10.3390/pharmacy5030038
Received: 25 May 2017 / Revised: 20 June 2017 / Accepted: 30 June 2017 / Published: 7 July 2017
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Abstract
The national UK standards for critical care highlight the need for clinical pharmacists to practise at an advanced level (equivalent to Royal Pharmaceutical Society, Great Britain, Faculty Advanced Stage II (MFRPSII)) and above. Currently the UK is unable to meet the workforce capacity
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The national UK standards for critical care highlight the need for clinical pharmacists to practise at an advanced level (equivalent to Royal Pharmaceutical Society, Great Britain, Faculty Advanced Stage II (MFRPSII)) and above. Currently the UK is unable to meet the workforce capacity requirements set out in the national standards in terms of numbers of pharmacist working at advanced level and above. The aim of this study was to identify the strategies, barriers and challenges to achieving Advanced Level Practice (ALP) by learning from the experiences of advanced level critical care pharmacists within the UK. Eight participants were recruited to complete semi-structured interviews on their views and experiences of ALP. The interviews were analysed thematically and three overarching themes were identified; support, work-based learning and reflective practice. The results of this study highlight that to increase the number of MFRPSII level practitioners within critical care support for their ALP development is required. This support involves developing face-to-face access to expert critical care pharmacists within a national training programme. Additionally, chief pharmacists need to implement drivers including in house mentorship and peer review programmes and the need to align job descriptions and appraisals to the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, Great Britain, Advanced Practice Framework (APF). Full article
Open AccessCommentary Safety of People with Intellectual Disabilities in Hospital. What Can the Hospital Pharmacist Do to Improve Quality of Care?
Pharmacy 2017, 5(3), 44; doi:10.3390/pharmacy5030044
Received: 8 June 2017 / Revised: 27 July 2017 / Accepted: 30 July 2017 / Published: 4 August 2017
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Abstract
People with intellectual disabilities are vulnerable in healthcare environments. They experience health and healthcare inequalities, and when admitted to general hospitals are at a greater risk of patient safety incidents. This is well known in specialist services, but less recognized within primary or
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People with intellectual disabilities are vulnerable in healthcare environments. They experience health and healthcare inequalities, and when admitted to general hospitals are at a greater risk of patient safety incidents. This is well known in specialist services, but less recognized within primary or secondary healthcare. The most significant barriers to safer and better healthcare appear to include ‘invisibility’ of people with intellectual disabilities within health-care systems, widespread lack of staff understanding of intellectual disability, the vulnerabilities of people with intellectual disabilities, and the reasonable adjustment they may need in order to access health-care services. They may be ‘invisible’ to pharmacists in general hospitals. This article aims to raise awareness among those pharmacists and others providing care and support to people with intellectual disabilities in hospital in relation to how pharmacists can contribute to safety. Medication is the main therapeutic intervention in this population. Research is needed to determine the role of pharmacists in improving health outcomes and reducing health inequalities in this vulnerable population group when they are admitted to general hospitals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Services Research in the Use of Medicines)
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Open AccessCommentary Using Theory to Explore the Determinants of Medication Adherence; Moving Away from a One-Size-Fits-All Approach
Pharmacy 2017, 5(3), 50; doi:10.3390/pharmacy5030050
Received: 4 August 2017 / Revised: 23 August 2017 / Accepted: 24 August 2017 / Published: 30 August 2017
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Abstract
Non-adherence to prescribed medicines has been described as “a worldwide problem of striking magnitude”, diminishing treatment effects and wasting resources. Evidence syntheses report current adherence interventions achieve modest improvements at best, and highlight the poor progress toward the longstanding aim of a gold-standard
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Non-adherence to prescribed medicines has been described as “a worldwide problem of striking magnitude”, diminishing treatment effects and wasting resources. Evidence syntheses report current adherence interventions achieve modest improvements at best, and highlight the poor progress toward the longstanding aim of a gold-standard intervention, tailored to meet individual need. Techniques such as motivational interviewing and health coaching, which aim to facilitate patient-centred care and improve patient resourcefulness, have shown promise in supporting adherence, especially in patients with psychological barriers to medicine-taking, such as illness perceptions and health beliefs. Despite a plethora of research, there is little recognition that the nature and complexity of non-adherence is such that a one-size-fits-all approach to interventions is never likely to suffice. This commentary re-visits the call for adherence interventions to be tailored to meet individual need, by considering what this means for day-to-day practice and how this can be achieved. It provides an update on advances in psychological theory to identify the root cause of an individual’s non-adherence to encourage matching of provided adherence support. It also provides a practical perspective by considering exemplars of innovative practice and evaluating the day-to-day practicalities of taking a novel approach. Full article
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