Pharmacy2016, 4(3), 23; doi:10.3390/pharmacy4030023 (registering DOI) - published 22 July 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The pharmacy profession continues to experience change regarding roles and responsibilities. The supply of medicines still remains a central function, but patient-facing, clinical roles are now becoming more commonplace, where pharmacists use their expert knowledge to maximise patient use of medicines. This transitional state from supplier of medicines to medicines expert raises questions over the contemporary professional identity of pharmacists. This literature-informed commentary highlights the current situation regarding how pharmacists’ identity is formed and reinforced. The authors suggest that the profession needs to be clearer in articulating what pharmacy does, and advocate the need for strong branding that the profession, public and other healthcare practitioners understand.
Abstract: Background:Continuous infusion ketorolac is sometimes utilized for analgesia in postoperative coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) patients despite contraindications for use. Limited literature surrounds this topic; therefore, this study was conducted to evaluate the safety of this practice. Methods: This retrospective cohort study evaluated the primary outcome of mortality and secondary outcomes of incidence of bleeding and myocardial infarction (MI). All patients who underwent isolated CABG surgeries and received continuous infusion ketorolac during the study period were included. An equal number of randomly selected isolated CABG patients served as control patients. Electronic medical records and the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) database were utilized to determine baseline characteristics and outcomes; Results: One hundred and seventy-eight patients met inclusion; 89 in each group. More patients in the control group underwent on-pump surgeries (78.6% vs. 29.2%, p = 0.01) and had higher STS risk scores (1.1% vs. 0.6%, p = 0.003). There was no difference in mortality between the ketorolac group and control group (2.2% vs. 3.3%, p = 0.605). Additionally, no patients experienced a MI and there was no difference in bleeding incidence (5.5% vs. 6.7%, p = 0.58); Conclusions: No association was found between continuous infusion ketorolac and increased risk of mortality, MI, or bleeding events in postoperative CABG patients. Considerations to differences in baseline characteristics must be made when interpreting results.
Abstract: The objective of the PHAR-QA (Quality assurance in European pharmacy education and training) project was to investigate how competence-based learning could be applied to a healthcare, sectoral profession such as pharmacy. This is the first study on evaluation of competences from the pharmacists’ perspective using an improved Delphi method with a large number of respondents from all over Europe. This paper looks at the way in which hospital pharmacists rank the fundamental competences for pharmacy practice. European hospital pharmacists (n = 152) ranked 68 competences for pharmacy practice of two types (personal and patient care), arranged into 13 clusters. Results were compared to those obtained from community pharmacists (n = 258). Generally, hospital and community pharmacists rank competences in a similar way. Nevertheless, differences can be detected. The higher focus of hospital pharmacists on knowledge of the different areas of science as well as on laboratory tests reflects the idea of a hospital pharmacy specialisation. The difference is also visible in the field of drug production. This is a necessary competence in hospitals with requests for drugs for rare diseases, as well as paediatric and oncologic drugs. Hospital pharmacists give entrepreneurship a lower score, but cost-effectiveness a higher one than community pharmacists. This reflects the reality of pharmacy practice where community pharmacists have to act as entrepreneurs, and hospital pharmacists are managers staying within drug budgets. The results are discussed in the light of a “hospital pharmacy” specialisation.
Abstract: (1) Background: Combined MBA programs are becoming increasingly popular, and it is anticipated that there will be 60 combined pharmacy–MBA programs across North America in 2015. We aimed to see if there would be support for a combined PharmD–MBA program at the University of Saskatchewan. (2) Methods: A questionnaire was distributed to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd year pharmacy students at the University of Saskatchewan. A separate questionnaire was developed and all practicing pharmacists in Saskatchewan were emailed a link to SurveyMonkey® (Palo Alto, CA, USA) to fill it out online. In-person and phone interviews were conducted with pharmacy stakeholders in Saskatchewan and across the country. (3) Results: Of the 265 students, 193 (72.8%) were present on the days the questionnaires were distributed, and they all completed the questionnaires. When asked if they would have pursued a combined degree if the U of S had offered it when they entered the pharmacy program, 16.6% (32/193) and 37.3% (72/193) either strongly agreed or agreed and 29.0% (56/193) were unsure. When pharmacists were asked if an MBA would be valuable or applicable in their current job, 42.2% (128/303) agreed and 13.9% (42/303) strongly agreed. When asked if they felt students graduating with a combined degree would be at an advantage for certain job opportunities upon graduation, 33.6% (100/298) strongly agreed and 55.4% (165/298) agreed. A total of 8 interviews were conducted with key stakeholders from across Canada. Of these 8 stakeholders, only 2 were aware that other combined programs were offered. All of the stakeholders were in favour of the idea of a combined degree. Some felt it was important for the program to have a clear value proposition and healthcare related content would be desirable. (4) Conclusions: Overall, pharmacist, pharmacy student, and stakeholder input indicate that a combined program could be supported at the University of Saskatchewan.
Abstract: The numbers of medicinal drugs available for human consumption have increased rapidly in the past several decades, and physician prescribing practices reflect the growing reliance on medicines in health care. However, the nature of medicines-as-technology makes problematic taken-for-granted relationships among actors involved in the delivery, or who are the recipients of medicines-reliant health care. In this article, I situate the medicine user in the ‘field’ of medications—where interests, actions and outcomes are continually negotiated among and between the various players—physicians, pharmacists, government regulatory bodies, the pharmaceutical industry and users of medicines. The objective of the paper is to illuminate the complex context in which the medicine-user—the target of the pharmacy profession’s service to the public—accesses and uses medicines.
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.