Abstract: The PHAR-IN (“Competences for industrial pharmacy practice in biotechnology”) looked at whether there is a difference in how industrial employees and academics rank competences for practice in the biotechnological industry. A small expert panel consisting of the authors of this paper produced a biotechnology competence framework by drawing up an initial list of competences then ranking them in importance using a three-stage Delphi process. The framework was next evaluated and validated by a large expert panel of academics (n = 37) and industrial employees (n = 154). Results show that priorities for industrial employees and academics were similar. The competences for biotechnology practice that received the highest scores were mainly in: “Research and Development”, ‘“Upstream” and “Downstream” Processing’, “Product development and formulation”, “Aseptic processing”, “Analytical methodology”, “Product stability”, and “Regulation”. The main area of disagreement was in the category “Ethics and drug safety” where academics ranked competences higher than did industrial employees.
Abstract: Like most of the pharmacy colleges in developing countries with high population growth, public pharmacy colleges in Egypt are experiencing a significant increase in students’ enrollment annually due to the large youth population, accompanied with the keenness of students to join pharmacy colleges as a step to a better future career. In this context, large lectures represent a popular approach for teaching the students as economic and logistic constraints prevent splitting them into smaller groups. Nevertheless, the impact of large lectures in relation to student learning has been widely questioned due to their educational limitations, which are related to the passive role the students maintain in lectures. Despite the reported feebleness underlying large lectures and lecturing in general, large lectures will likely continue to be taught in the same format in these countries. Accordingly, to soften the negative impacts of large lectures, this article describes a simple and feasible 5-step paper-based model to transform lectures from a passive information delivery space into an active learning environment. This model mainly suits educational establishments with financial constraints, nevertheless, it can be applied in lectures presented in any educational environment to improve active participation of students. The components and the expected advantages of employing the 5-step paper-based model in large lectures as well as its limitations and ways to overcome them are presented briefly. The impact of applying this model on students’ engagement and learning is currently being investigated.
Abstract: A medication take-back event was held in Lansing, MI, USA, for four hours in September 2013. The objective was to quantify medication waste by determining the ratio of medication units remaining versus dispensed and to identify therapeutic classes with greater ratios of remaining medication units. Drug name, strength, quantity remaining, quantity dispensed, dispensary source, and brand or generic were recorded from the label of each medication container returned. Out of the over 3600 medication containers collected, this study analyzed 2459 containers, which included 304 controlled substances. On average, 66 percent of the medications dispensed in these containers were unused, and therefore wasted. Immunologic medications had the lowest quantity of waste at 54%, while geriatrics/miscellaneous therapeutic class yielded the highest quantity of waste at 79%. The most common therapeutic classes collected were pain/spasm, cardiovascular, and mental health. Greater emphasis on patient education regarding medication adherence and health care professionals’ judicious prescribing habits is warranted to reduce the frequency of unused medications. The increased accessibility to medication return sites may alleviate the prevalence of medication accumulation, environmental damage, and medication misuse.
Abstract: Children need a distinct medicines-use system designed explicitly for them since their continued inclusion in a system of prescription processing developed for adults generates insoluble risk points and workarounds. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), in its policy statement released by the AAP Committee on Drugs in early 2014 about off-label use in children, posits that federal legislation on increased drug testing in children has been effective, as “there have been over 500 pediatric-specific labeling changes.” However, the AAP’s position has not changed materially since the original 2002 policy statement. Indeed, other health professionals, their organizations, or affiliated practice-based research network (PBRNs) mechanisms continue to be excluded from consideration, collaboration, or even honorable mention. It is noteworthy that most of the 500 labeling changes made since 1997 have addressed the scientific validity of indications for medication use in pediatric population without regard to pharmacotherapy formulation or monitoring. Medication use in children continues to be associated with an unacceptably high rate of adverse events, morbidity, and death. Children should no longer be “shoehorned” into the adult medication-use system, which faces challenges in addressing even the adult population’s needs.The time is now to design a multi-phasic, systematic approach to the pharmacotherapy of children. This paper will argue for the establishment of a distinct medication use system for children, a trans-disciplinary system designed thoughtfully and intentionally, not by convention, consensus, or imitation.
Abstract: Medicines reconciliation is a way to identify and act on discrepancies in patients’ medical histories and it is found to play a key role in patient safety. This review focuses on discrepancies and medical errors that occurred at point of discharge from hospital. Studies were identified through the following electronic databases: PubMed, Sciences Direct, EMBASE, Google Scholar, Cochrane Reviews and CINAHL. Each of the six databases was screened from inception to end of January 2014. To determine eligibility of the studies; the title, abstract and full manuscript were screened to find 15 articles that meet the inclusion criteria. The median number of discrepancies across the articles was found to be 60%. In average patient had between 1.2–5.3 discrepancies when leaving the hospital. More studies also found a relation between the numbers of drugs a patient was on and the number of discrepancies. The variation in the number of discrepancies found in the 15 studies could be due to the fact that some studies excluded patient taking more than 5 drugs at admission. Medication reconciliation would be a way to avoid the high number of discrepancies that was found in this literature review and thereby increase patient safety.
Abstract: Introduction: Focus group methodology is commonly used to quickly collate, integrated views from a variety of different stakeholders. This paper provides an example of how focus groups can be employed to collate expert opinion informing amendments on a newly developed training program for integration into undergraduate pharmacy curricula. Materials and methods: Four focus groups were conducted, across three continents, to determine the appropriateness and reliability of a developed vaccination training program with nested injection skills training. All focus groups were comprised of legitimate experts in the field of vaccination, medicine and/or pharmacy. Results: Themes that emerged across focus groups informed amendments giving rise to a validated version of a training program. Discussion: The rigorous validation of the vaccination training program offers generalizable lessons to inform the design and validation of future training programs intended for the health sector and or pharmacy curricula. Using the knowledge and experience of focus group participants fostered collaborative problem solving and validation of material and concept development. The group dynamics of a focus group allowed synthesis of feedback in an inter-professional manner. Conclusions: This paper provides a demonstration of how focus groups can be structured and used by health researchers to validate a newly developed training program.