Open AccessArticle
Antipsychotic Polypharmacy among Children and Young Adults in Office-Based or Hospital Outpatient Department Settings
Pharmacy 2017, 5(4), 64; doi:10.3390/pharmacy5040064 -
Abstract
The purpose of the study was three-fold: (1) to estimate the national trends in antipsychotic (AP) polypharmacy among 6- to 24-year-old patients in the U.S.; (2) to identify frequently used AP agents and mental disorder diagnoses related to AP polypharmacy; and (3) to
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The purpose of the study was three-fold: (1) to estimate the national trends in antipsychotic (AP) polypharmacy among 6- to 24-year-old patients in the U.S.; (2) to identify frequently used AP agents and mental disorder diagnoses related to AP polypharmacy; and (3) to assess the strength of association between AP polypharmacy and patient/provider characteristics. We used publicly available ambulatory health care datasets to evaluate AP polypharmacy in office-based or hospital outpatient department settings to conduct a cross-sectional study. First, national visit rates between 2007 and 2011 were estimated using sampling weights. Second, common diagnoses and drugs used in AP polypharmacy were identified. Third, a multivariate logistic regression model was developed to assess the strength of association between AP polypharmacy and patient and provider characteristics. Between 2007 and 2011, approximately 2% of office-based or hospital outpatient department visits made by 6- to 24-year-old patients included one or more AP prescriptions. Of these visits, 5% were classified as AP polypharmacy. The most common combination of AP polypharmacy was to use two or more second-generation APs. Also, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia were the two most frequent primary mental disorder diagnoses among AP polypharmacy visits. The factors associated with AP polypharmacy were: older age (young adults), black, having one or more non-AP prescriptions, and having schizophrenia or ADHD. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Hospital Audit as a Useful Tool in the Process of Introducing Falsified Medicines Directive (FMD) into Hospital Pharmacy Settings—A Pilot Study
Pharmacy 2017, 5(4), 63; doi:10.3390/pharmacy5040063 -
Abstract
Background: Recently, the European Union has introduced the Falsified Medicines Directive (FMD). Additionally, in early 2016, a Delegated Act (DA) related to the FMD was published. The main objective of this study was to evaluate the usefulness of external audits in the context
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Background: Recently, the European Union has introduced the Falsified Medicines Directive (FMD). Additionally, in early 2016, a Delegated Act (DA) related to the FMD was published. The main objective of this study was to evaluate the usefulness of external audits in the context of implementing new regulations provided by the FMD in the secondary care environment. Methods: The external, in-person workflow audits were performed by an authentication company in three Polish hospital pharmacies. Each audit consisted of a combination of supervision (non-participant observation), secondary data analysis, and expert interviews with the use of an independently designed authorial Diagnostic Questionnaire. The questionnaire included information about hospital drug distribution procedures, data concerning drug usage, IT systems, medication order systems, the processes of medication dispensing, and the preparation and administration of hazardous drugs. Data analysis included a thorough examination of hospital documentation in regard to drug management. All data were subjected to qualitative analysis, with the aim of generating meaningful information through inductive inference. Results: Only one dispensing location in the Polish hospitals studied has the potential to be a primary authentication area. In the audited hospitals, an Automated Drug Dispensing System and unit dose were not identified during the study. Hospital wards contained an enclosed place within the department dedicated to drug storage under the direct supervision of senior nursing staff. An electronic order system was not available. In the largest center, unused medications are re-dispensed to different hospital departments, or may be sold to various institutions. Additionally, in one hospital pharmacy, pharmacists prepared parenteral nutrition and chemotherapeutic drugs for patients admitted to the hospital. Conclusions: External audits might prove beneficial in the course of introducing new regulations into everyday settings. However, such action should be provided before the final implementation of authentication services. To sum up, FMD can impact several hospital departments. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Redesigning Journal Clubs to Staying Current with the Literature
Pharmacy 2017, 5(4), 62; doi:10.3390/pharmacy5040062 -
Abstract
Staying current with the literature is of paramount importance to the pharmacist engaged in an evidence-based clinical practice. Given the expanding roles and responsibilities of today’s pharmacists combined with exponential growth in new medical and health sciences literature, staying current has become an
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Staying current with the literature is of paramount importance to the pharmacist engaged in an evidence-based clinical practice. Given the expanding roles and responsibilities of today’s pharmacists combined with exponential growth in new medical and health sciences literature, staying current has become an extremely daunting task. Traditional journal clubs have focused upon their role as a training vehicle for teaching critical reading skills to residents. However, schools of pharmacy are now required to provide instruction in biostatistics, research design, and interpretation. We present a paradigm shift in the traditional journal club model whereby a collection of periodicals is screened and a short synopsis of the pertinent articles is provided. The associated tasks for screening and presenting of the primary literature are shared among a group of clinicians and trainees with similar practice interests resulting in a more reasonable workload for the individual. This journal club method was effective in identifying a significant majority of articles judged to be pertinent by independent groups of clinicians in the same practice arenas. Details regarding the shared core practice and knowledge base elements, journal club format, identification of journals, and evaluation of the success of the journal club technique are provided. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Assessment of Prescribing and Monitoring Habits for Patients Taking an Antiarrhythmic and Concomitant QTc-Prolonging Antibiotic
Pharmacy 2017, 5(4), 61; doi:10.3390/pharmacy5040061 -
Abstract
Patients may intermittently require antimicrobial therapy with a QTc-prolonging antibiotic, which presents a challenge for prescribers of patients already taking a QTc-prolonging antiarrhythmic. Manufacturers recommend close monitoring for evidence of QTc-prolongation with the concomitant use of QTc-prolonging medications, but the monitoring parameters are
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Patients may intermittently require antimicrobial therapy with a QTc-prolonging antibiotic, which presents a challenge for prescribers of patients already taking a QTc-prolonging antiarrhythmic. Manufacturers recommend close monitoring for evidence of QTc-prolongation with the concomitant use of QTc-prolonging medications, but the monitoring parameters are not well-defined. Previous studies recommend a surveillance electrocardiogram (EKG) be completed both before and after the initiation of QTc-prolonging medications, but it is unknown to what degree EKGs displaying the QTc-interval are used to alter physician order entry and pharmacist order verification during concomitant therapy. A retrospective chart review was conducted between October 2015–September 2016 to assess prescribing and monitoring habits for patients taking an antiarrhythmic and a concomitant QTc-prolonging antibiotic. Of the 42 patients who received at least one dose of two QTc-prolonging agents, 36 (85.7%) received a baseline EKG, and 23 (63.8%) received a follow-up EKG. Pharmacists intervened on this drug–drug interaction and recommended follow-up EKGs only three times (8.3%) and offered alternative therapy recommendations once (2.8%). The QTc-interval was not optimally monitored in some instances for patients concomitantly receiving two QTc-prolonging agents. These results stress the importance of inter-professional communication to place an emphasis on follow-up monitoring or use of alternative therapy agents to avoid the drug–drug interaction altogether. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Medication Reviews by a Clinical Pharmacist at an Irish University Teaching Hospital
Pharmacy 2017, 5(4), 60; doi:10.3390/pharmacy5040060 -
Abstract
Purpose: Pharmacist-led medication reviews in hospitals have shown improvement in patient outcomes. The aim of this study is to describe the prevalence and nature of pharmacist interventions (PIs) following a medication review in an Irish teaching hospital. Methods: PIs were recorded over a
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Purpose: Pharmacist-led medication reviews in hospitals have shown improvement in patient outcomes. The aim of this study is to describe the prevalence and nature of pharmacist interventions (PIs) following a medication review in an Irish teaching hospital. Methods: PIs were recorded over a six-month period in 2015. PIs were assessed by a panel of healthcare professionals (n = 5) to estimate the potential of adverse drug events (ADEs). Descriptive statistics were used for the variables and the chi square test for independence was used to analyse for any association between the variables. Results: Of the 1216 patients (55.8% female; median age 68 years (interquartile range 24 years)) who received a medication review, 313 interventions were identified in 213 patients. 412 medicines were associated with PIs, of which drugs for obstructive airway disease (n = 82), analgesics (n = 56), and antibacterial products for systemic use (n = 50) were the most prevalent. A statistically significant association was found between PI and patient’s age ≥65 years (p = 0.000), as well as female gender (p = 0.037). A total of 60.7% of the PIs had a medium or high likelihood of causing an ADE. Conclusion: Pharmacist-led medication review in a hospital setting prevented ADEs. Patients ≥65 years of age and female patients benefited the most from the interventions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
‘I Can Step outside My Comfort Zone.’
Pharmacy 2017, 5(4), 59; doi:10.3390/pharmacy5040059 -
Abstract
On embarking upon such a multifactorial, professional degree as Pharmacy, students often find it difficult to meld the scientific- and practice-based components of the course. In final year of the undergraduate Masters of Pharmacy degree (MPharm) within the School of Pharmacy and Life
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On embarking upon such a multifactorial, professional degree as Pharmacy, students often find it difficult to meld the scientific- and practice-based components of the course. In final year of the undergraduate Masters of Pharmacy degree (MPharm) within the School of Pharmacy and Life Sciences at Robert Gordon University (RGU), students undertake a research project within a specific area. The aims of this study were to explore the effectiveness of a novel practice based approach to a biomedical science project, to identify elements of difficulty in the process, and to explore students’ perceptions and reflections. Final year students were assigned to perform a systematic literature review working within a defined area of pharmacovigilance. Students were given individual ownership of the research question and were able to choose a topic of interest. Following the successful completion of the assignment, students were invited to explore their attitudes and views of the project and reflect on the process through a focus group using a talking wall method. The findings clearly identified a shift in mindset from predominantly negative opinions initially to an overwhelming positive viewpoint. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Analysis of a Community Pharmacy Intervention to Improve Low Adherence Rates to Oral Diabetes Medications
Pharmacy 2017, 5(4), 58; doi:10.3390/pharmacy5040058 -
Abstract
For patients with diabetes, suboptimal medication adherence contributes to disease progression, complications, and increased healthcare costs. Identification of, and intervention for patient-identified reasons for nonadherence are essential to improving medication adherence. This prospective, quality improvement study was conducted at an independent community pharmacy
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For patients with diabetes, suboptimal medication adherence contributes to disease progression, complications, and increased healthcare costs. Identification of, and intervention for patient-identified reasons for nonadherence are essential to improving medication adherence. This prospective, quality improvement study was conducted at an independent community pharmacy in the Mid-West United States. Patients with a proportion of days covered (PDC) for their oral antidiabetic medications of less than 80% were contacted by telephone and interviewed by a clinical pharmacist. The interviews and corresponding adherence interventions were guided by an abbreviated version of the Drug Adherence Work-Up (DRAW©) tool that focused on oral medications for diabetes. The change in PDC 120-days post-interview was assessed to determine the change in adherence rates. Patients receiving the pharmacist-delivered adherence intervention had significantly higher 120 day PDC values which are likely to indicate more regular medication-taking at home. Almost half of study patients signed up for medication synchronization and these patients trended toward higher PDC values, although the relative difference was not statistically significant from those receiving the intervention and not opting to have their medications synchronized. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Role of Information Anxiety and Information Load on Processing of Prescription Drug Information Leaflets
Pharmacy 2017, 5(4), 57; doi:10.3390/pharmacy5040057 -
Abstract
In this study, we evaluate the role of information anxiety and information load on the intention to read information from prescription drug information leaflets (PILs). These PILs were developed based on the principals of information load and consumer information processing. This was an
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In this study, we evaluate the role of information anxiety and information load on the intention to read information from prescription drug information leaflets (PILs). These PILs were developed based on the principals of information load and consumer information processing. This was an experimental prospective repeated measures study conducted in the United States where 360 (62% response rate) university students (>18 years old) participated. Participants were presented with a scenario followed by exposure to the three drug product information sources used to operationalize information load. The three sources were: (i) current practice; (ii) pre-existing one-page text only; and (iii) interventional one-page prototype PILs designed for the study. Information anxiety was measured as anxiety experienced by the individual when encountering information. The outcome variable of intention to read PILs was defined as the likelihood that the patient will read the information provided in the leaflets. A survey questionnaire was used to capture the data and the objectives were analyzed by performing a repeated measures MANOVA using SAS version 9.3. When compared to current practice and one-page text only leaflets, one-page PILs had significantly lower scores on information anxiety (p < 0.001) and information load (p < 0.001). The intention to read was highest and significantly different (p < 0.001) for PILs as compared to current practice or text only leaflets. Information anxiety and information load significantly impacted intention to read (p < 0.001). Newly developed PILs increased patient’s intention to read and can help in improving the counseling services provided by pharmacists. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Integrating Medication Therapy Management (MTM) Services Provided by Community Pharmacists into a Community-Based Accountable Care Organization (ACO)
Pharmacy 2017, 5(4), 56; doi:10.3390/pharmacy5040056 -
Abstract
(1) Background: As the U.S. healthcare system evolves from fee-for-service financing to global population-based payments designed to be accountable for both quality and total cost of care, the effective and safe use of medications is gaining increased importance. The purpose of this project
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(1) Background: As the U.S. healthcare system evolves from fee-for-service financing to global population-based payments designed to be accountable for both quality and total cost of care, the effective and safe use of medications is gaining increased importance. The purpose of this project was to determine the feasibility of integrating medication therapy management (MTM) services provided by community pharmacists into the clinical care teams and the health information technology (HIT) infrastructure for Minnesota Medicaid recipients of a 12-county community-based accountable care organization (ACO). (2) Methods: The continuous quality improvement evaluation methodology employed in this project was the context + mechanism = outcome (CMO) model to account for the fact that programs only work insofar as they introduce promising ideas, solutions and opportunities in the appropriate social and cultural contexts. Collaborations between a 12-county ACO and 15 community pharmacies in Southwest Minnesota served as the social context for this feasibility study of MTM referrals to community pharmacists. (3) Results: All 15 community pharmacy sites were integrated into the HIT infrastructure through Direct Secure Messaging, and there were 32 recipients who received MTM services subsequent to referrals from the ACO at 5 of the 15 community pharmacies over a 1-year implementation phase. (4) Conclusion: At the conclusion of this project, an effective electronic communication and MTM referral system was activated, and consideration was given to community pharmacists providing MTM in future ACO shared savings agreements. Full article
Open AccessArticle
The Attitude of Medical and Pharmacy Students towards Research Activities: A Multicenter Approach
Pharmacy 2017, 5(4), 55; doi:10.3390/pharmacy5040055 -
Abstract
Aim: To assess the attitude of medical and pharmacy students in Asian and African universities towards scholarly research activities. Methods: An anonymous, cross-sectional, self-reported online survey questionnaire was administered to medical and pharmacy students studying in various Asian and African universities through social
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Aim: To assess the attitude of medical and pharmacy students in Asian and African universities towards scholarly research activities. Methods: An anonymous, cross-sectional, self-reported online survey questionnaire was administered to medical and pharmacy students studying in various Asian and African universities through social media between May and July 2016. A 68-item close-ended questionnaire consisting of Likert-scale options assessed the students’ research-specific experiences, and their attitudes towards scholarly research publications. Results: A total of 512 questionnaires were completed, with a response rate of 92% from Asia and 94% from Africa. More pharmacy students (70.8%) participated than medical students (29.2%). Overall 52.2% of the pharmacy students and 40% of medical students believed that research activities provided a means of gaining respect from their faculty members. Lack of encouragement, paucity of time, gaps in research activities and practices, and lack of research funding were some of the most common barriers acknowledged by the students. A nonparametric Mann-Whitney test showed that a statistically significant difference was observed, in that more than 80% of the pharmacy students viewed scientific writing and research activities as valuable experiences (p = 0.001) and would like to involve their co-students in scholarly research activities (p = 0.002); whereas the majority of the medical students desired to be involved more in scholarly research publications (p = 0.033). Conclusion: Pharmacy students had good attitudes towards research activities and a higher number of medical students desired to be involved more in research publications. Faculties may consider taking special research initiatives to address the barriers and improve the involvement of medical and pharmacy students in scholarly research activities. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Pharmacy Practice and Education in the Czech Republic
Pharmacy 2017, 5(4), 54; doi:10.3390/pharmacy5040054 -
Abstract
The PHARMINE (“Pharmacy Education in Europe”) project studied the organisation of pharmacy education, practice and legislation in the European Union (EU) with the objectives of evaluating to what degree harmonisation had taken place with the EU, and producing documents on each individual EU
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The PHARMINE (“Pharmacy Education in Europe”) project studied the organisation of pharmacy education, practice and legislation in the European Union (EU) with the objectives of evaluating to what degree harmonisation had taken place with the EU, and producing documents on each individual EU member state. Part of this work was in the form of a survey of pharmacy education, practice, and legislation in the various member states. We will publish the individual member state surveys as reference documents. This paper presents the results of the PHARMINE survey on pharmacy education, training, and practice in the Czech Republic. Czech community pharmacies sell and provide advice on Rx and Over-the-counter (OTC) medicines; they also provide diagnostic services (e.g., blood pressure measurement). Pharmacists (lékárník in Czech) study for five years and graduate with a Magister (Mgr., equivalent to M.Pharm.) degree. The Mgr. diploma is the only requirement for registration as a pharmacist. Pharmacists can own and manage community pharmacies, or work as responsible pharmacists in pharmacies. All practising pharmacists must be registered with the Czech Chamber of Pharmacists. The ownership of a community pharmacy is not restricted to members of the pharmacy profession; the majority of pharmacies are organised into various pharmacy chains. There are two universities providing higher education in pharmacy in the Czech Republic: the Faculty of Pharmacy in Hradec Kralove, Charles University, which was established in 1969, and the Faculty of Pharmacy of the University of Veterinary and Pharmaceutical Sciences in Brno, which was established in 1991. The pharmacy curriculum is organized as a seamless, fully integrated, five-year master degree course. There is a six-month traineeship supervised by the university, which usually takes place during the fifth year. Thus, the pharmacy curriculum is organised in accordance with the EU directive on sectoral professions that lays down the imperatives for pharmacy education, training, and practice in the various member states of the EU. Currently, no specialisation courses are available at the university level. Specialisation is organised in the form of postgraduate, continuing professional development by the Czech Chamber of Pharmacists, and delivered by the Institute of Postgraduate Education for Health Professions. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Exploring a Problem-Based Learning Approach in Pharmaceutics
Pharmacy 2017, 5(3), 53; doi:10.3390/pharmacy5030053 -
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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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 -
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
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 -
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 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 -
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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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 -
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
Community Pharmacists’ Involvement in Research in the United Kingdom
Pharmacy 2017, 5(3), 48; doi:10.3390/pharmacy5030048 -
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
Students’ Satisfaction with a Web-Based Pharmacy Program in a Re-Regulated Pharmacy Market
Pharmacy 2017, 5(3), 47; doi:10.3390/pharmacy5030047 -
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
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 -
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
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Open AccessArticle
Pharmacists’ Attitudes and Perceived Barriers to Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccination Services
Pharmacy 2017, 5(3), 45; doi:10.3390/pharmacy5030045 -
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