Abstract: Objectives: From 2020, the ownership of community pharmacies in Estonia will be limited to the pharmacy profession, and the vertical integration of wholesale companies and community pharmacies will not be allowed. The aim of this study was to evaluate the perception of different stakeholders in primary healthcare toward the new regulations of the community pharmacy sector in Estonia. Methods: A qualitative electronic survey was distributed to the main stakeholders in primary healthcare and higher education institutions providing pharmacy education (n = 40) in May 2015. For data analysis, the systematic text condensation method was used. Results: The study participants described two opposing positions regarding the development of community pharmacies in the future. Reform supporters emphasized increased professional independence and more healthcare-oriented operation of community pharmacies. Reform opponents argued against these ideas as community pharmacists do not have sufficient practical experience and finances to ensure sustainable development of the community pharmacy sector in Estonia. Conclusion: Based on the current perception of all respondents, the future operation of the community pharmacy sector in Estonia is unclear and there is urgent need for implementation criteria for the new regulations.
Abstract: Similar to other professions, pharmacy educators use workplace learning opportunities to prepare students for collaborative practice. Thus, collaborative relationships between educators of different professions are important for planning, implementing and evaluating interprofessional learning strategies and role modelling interprofessional collaboration within and across university and workplace settings. However, there is a paucity of research exploring educators’ interprofessional relationships. Using collaborative dialogical inquiry we explored the nature of educators’ interprofessional relationships in a co-located setting. Data from interprofessional focus groups and semi-structured interviews were interpreted to identify themes that transcended the participants’ professional affiliations. Educators’ interprofessional collaborative relationships involved the development and interweaving of five interpersonal behaviours: being inclusive of other professions; developing interpersonal connections with colleagues from other professions; bringing a sense of own profession in relation to other professions; giving and receiving respect to other professions; and being learner-centred for students’ collaborative practice. Pharmacy educators, like other educators, need to ensure that interprofessional relationships are founded on positive experiences rather than vested in professional interests.
Abstract: The pharmaceutical industry is one of the most regulated industries in the world. While legislation is necessary to protect patients, too much legislation is said to hamper innovation and increase medicine prices. Using qualitative methods such as interviews and document analysis, we investigated the role of private stakeholders in the EU policymakers’ decision to initiate legislation to combat falsified medicines in 2008. Our results show that the pharmaceutical industry, brand owners in particular, were strong proponents of legislation to combat falsified medicines. Their support was not fueled by fear that falsified medicines would harm patients or their own business, but rather because legislative action in this area would advance policies that benefit their businesses objectives. The brand owners framed the issue to policymakers as best to support their business objectives. In general, supply chain actors lobbied for stricter requirements in order to challenge competitors. In the end, the Falsified Medicines Directive may have suffered from company influence not by addressing the primary problem of falsified medicines, but rather by creating additional legislation that benefits the supply chain actors.
Abstract: Chronic non-malignant pain (CNMP) is commonly managed by General Practitioners (GPs) in primary care. Analgesics are the mainstay of CNMP management in this setting. Selection of medications by GPs may be influenced by micro factors which are relevant to the practice setting, meso factors which relate to the local or regional environment or macro factors such as those arising from national or international influences. The aim of this study is to explore influences on GP practises in relation to pain management for older adults with CNMP. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 12 GPs. Transcripts were organised using the Framework Method of Data Management while an applied thematic analysis was used to identify the themes emerging from the data. Clinical considerations such as the efficacy of analgesics, adverse effects and co-morbidities strongly influence prescribing decisions. The GPs interviewed identified the lack of guidance on this subject in Ireland and described the impact of organisational and structural barriers of the Irish healthcare system on the management of CNMP. Changes in practice behaviours coupled with health system reforms are required to improve the quality and consistency of pharmacotherapeutic management of CNMP in primary care.
Abstract: The uninsured population has much to gain from affordable sources of prescription medications. No prior studies have assessed the prevalence and predictors of low-cost generic drug programs (LCGP) use in the uninsured population in the United States. A cross-sectional study was conducted using data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) during 2007–2012 including individuals aged 18 and older who were uninsured for the entire 2-year period they were in MEPS. The proportions of LCGP fills and users was tracked each year and logistic regression was used to assess significant factors associated with LCGP use. A total of 8.3 million uninsured individuals were represented by the sample and 39.9% of these used an LCGP. Differences between users and non-users included higher age, gender, year of participation, and number of medications filled. The proportion of fills and users via LCGPs increased over the 2007–2012 study period. Healthcare providers, especially pharmacists, should make uninsured patients aware of this source of affordable medications.
Abstract: This paper looks at the way in which industrial pharmacists rank the fundamental competences for pharmacy practice. European industrial pharmacists (n = 135) ranked 68 competences for practice, arranged into 13 clusters of two types (personal and patient care). Results show that, compared to community pharmacists (n = 258), industrial pharmacists rank competences centering on research, development and production of drugs higher, and those centering on patient care lower. Competences centering on values, communication skills, etc. were ranked similarly by the two groups of pharmacists. These results are discussed in the light of the existence or not of an “industrial pharmacy” specialization.