Pharmacy2015, 3(3), 137-153; doi:10.3390/pharmacy3030137 (registering DOI) - published 1 September 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Do community pharmacists coming from different educational backgrounds rank the importance of competences for practice differently—or is the way in which they see their profession more influenced by practice than university education? A survey was carried out on 68 competences for pharmacy practice in seven countries with different pharmacy education systems in terms of the relative importance of the subject areas chemical and medicinal sciences. Community pharmacists were asked to rank the competences in terms of relative importance for practice; competences were divided into personal and patient-care competences. The ranking was very similar in the seven countries suggesting that evaluation of competences for practice is based more on professional experience than on prior university education. There were some differences for instance in research-related competences and these may be influenced, by education.
Pharmacy2015, 3(3), 129-136; doi:10.3390/pharmacy3030129 (registering DOI) - published 28 August 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: In October 2014, the Drug Enforcement Administration in the U.S. reclassified hydrocodone combination products (HCPs) from Schedule III to Schedule II, initiating one of the most significant and controversial regulatory changes for opioids in recent national history. The aim of the present study was to determine community pharmacist opinions on the effect of the rescheduling of HCPs on their personal practice. A web-based pilot survey was emailed to a convenience sample through online newsletters of professional pharmacy organizations in Pennsylvania, Kentucky and West Virginia in April/May 2015. A total of 62 surveys were initiated, yielding 56 complete responses. More than 75% of respondents noted increases in their workload as a result of the rescheduling of HCPs. Opinions regarding the intended outcomes of rescheduling were only weakly positive, with only 37.5% of respondents believing it has increased safety and 44.6% of respondents believing it has lessened abuse/diversion. For overall attitudes regarding the rescheduling, respondents were split between positive (26.8%), neutral (26.8%) and negative (46.4%). These initial data suggest that pharmacists have encountered barriers in practice resulting from the rescheduling. Further expanded work is necessary to verify these results from the small sample, and to assess the intended effects of the rescheduling upon the safe and effective use of hydrocodone.
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.