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Volume 12, February
 
 

Pharmacy, Volume 12, Issue 2 (April 2024) – 29 articles

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17 pages, 477 KiB  
Article
Prevalence and Determinants of Self-Medication Practices among Cardiovascular Patients from Béja, North West Tunisia: A Community-Pharmacy-Based Survey
by Maria Suciu, Lavinia Vlaia, Eya Boujneh, Liana Suciu, Valentina Oana Buda, Narcisa Jianu, Vicențiu Vlaia and Carmen Cristescu
Pharmacy 2024, 12(2), 68; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy12020068 - 12 Apr 2024
Viewed by 207
Abstract
In Tunisia, self-medication is a common practice, and there is a continual rise in the prevalence of cardiovascular disease. Given the lack of data on the self-medication practices (SMPs) among cardiovascular patients in this area, the present study aimed to identify the prevalence [...] Read more.
In Tunisia, self-medication is a common practice, and there is a continual rise in the prevalence of cardiovascular disease. Given the lack of data on the self-medication practices (SMPs) among cardiovascular patients in this area, the present study aimed to identify the prevalence and determinants of SMPs among cardiovascular patients in the city of Béja. A community-pharmacy-based survey was conducted among selected cardiovascular patients in Béja, Tunisia, from May 2021 to June 2021. Data were collected using a self-administered questionnaire provided by pharmacists during in-person surveys with patients. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize the data, while Fisher’s exact test was used for categorical variables, with the significance level set at p < 0.05. The frequency of self-medication among the 150 respondents was 96%; 70.14% of participants reported that the primary reason why people engage in self-medication is the existence of an old prescription. The most prevalent conditions leading patients to self-medicate were headaches (100%), fever (83.33%), toothache (65.97%), and dry cough (47.92%). The most frequently self-administered drugs were paracetamol (100%), antibiotics (56.94%), and antitussives (47.92%). The results of our study indicate that SMPs among Tunisian cardiovascular patients have a high prevalence. With this in mind, healthcare practitioners should ask their patients about their self-medication practices and advise cardiovascular patients about the risks and benefits associated with this practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pharmaceutical Care Services in Pharmacy Practice II)
15 pages, 1494 KiB  
Article
Fair Balance of Prescription Drug Information on Legitimate and Illegitimate Online Pharmacy Websites
by Bruce A. Huhmann and Yam B. Limbu
Pharmacy 2024, 12(2), 67; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy12020067 - 10 Apr 2024
Viewed by 251
Abstract
Patients require important information when prescribed medications. For example, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires that promotional information includes a fair balance of risks and benefits. This study evaluates how well legitimate online pharmacies (LOPs) and illegitimate online pharmacies (IOPs) comply [...] Read more.
Patients require important information when prescribed medications. For example, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires that promotional information includes a fair balance of risks and benefits. This study evaluates how well legitimate online pharmacies (LOPs) and illegitimate online pharmacies (IOPs) comply with the spirit of the FDA’s fair balance guidelines by examining the extent and equivalence of risk and benefit information on their websites. This study analyzed the content of 307 online pharmacy websites. Most (90.3%) communicated drug benefits, while 84.7% provided risks. Both risk and benefit information was moderately extensive. Presentation of risks and benefits differed between online pharmacy types. Compared to LOPs, IOPs were more likely to present risk information but also exaggerate benefits. Four in ten online pharmacies presented a fair balance of risks and benefits. However, LOPs (47.4%) were more likely to present a fair balance than IOPs (36.5%). Interestingly, IOPs were more likely to disclose instructions for use and overdose information than LOPs. These findings underscore the need for regulatory guidelines to encourage online pharmacies to present a fair balance of benefit and risk information. Also, pharmacists should develop online approaches to better fulfill their professional responsibility as drug information providers while maintaining their integrity and objectivity. Full article
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12 pages, 240 KiB  
Article
Patient Experiences of Community Pharmacy Medication Supply and Medicines Reconciliation at Hospital Discharge: A Pilot Qualitative Study
by Rhona Mundell, Derek Jamieson, Gwen Shaw, Anne Thomson and Paul Forsyth
Pharmacy 2024, 12(2), 66; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy12020066 - 10 Apr 2024
Viewed by 396
Abstract
(1) Background: As part of the Scottish Government’s five-year recovery plan to address the backlog in NHS care following the COVID-19 pandemic, community pharmacies in Scotland are planned to provide a Hospital Discharge Medicines Supply and Medicines Reconciliation Service. We aimed to qualitatively [...] Read more.
(1) Background: As part of the Scottish Government’s five-year recovery plan to address the backlog in NHS care following the COVID-19 pandemic, community pharmacies in Scotland are planned to provide a Hospital Discharge Medicines Supply and Medicines Reconciliation Service. We aimed to qualitatively explore patients’ experiences with this new service. (2) Method: Adult patients (≥18 years age) who consented to participate in the Community Pharmacy Hospital Discharge and Medicines Reconciliation Service were invited for an interview within 21 days of discharge from hospital. Qualitative, one-to-one, semi-structured patient interviews were conducted by telephone and audio-recorded using Microsoft Teams®. The interview audio recordings were transcribed verbatim and underwent thematic analysis. (3) Results: Twelve patients were interviewed, evenly split by sex and with a median age of 62 years (range 36 to 88 years). Our analysis generated main five themes: patient engagement, stakeholder communication, practical factors, human factors, and comparative experiences. Many of these were interdependent. (4) Conclusions: Patients appreciated that the service ensured a quicker discharge from hospital. Good stakeholder communication, practical factors (including choice, location, and the realities of obtaining their medication from the community pharmacy), and a pre-existing and trusted relationship in their usual community pharmacy were the key factors that regulated the patient experience. Generally, patients were positive about the introduction of this new service. However, the lack of a previous relationship or trust with a community pharmacy, and previous experiences with medication supply problems were factors which had the potential to negatively impact patient experiences. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pharmacy: State-of-the-Art and Perspectives in UK)
14 pages, 254 KiB  
Article
Patient’s and Consultant’s Views and Perceptions on Switching from an Originator Biologic to Biosimilar Medication: A Qualitative Study
by D. C. Rosembert, M. J. Twigg and D. J. Wright
Pharmacy 2024, 12(2), 65; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy12020065 - 07 Apr 2024
Viewed by 501
Abstract
The aim of this study was to describe the opinions of patients undergoing treatment with originator biologics and medical consultants managing their conditions and identify the barriers and enablers to transitioning from originator biologics to equivalent biosimilars. This study was undertaken prior to [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to describe the opinions of patients undergoing treatment with originator biologics and medical consultants managing their conditions and identify the barriers and enablers to transitioning from originator biologics to equivalent biosimilars. This study was undertaken prior to biosimilar switching at a large teaching hospital in the United Kingdom. Five gastroenterology, rheumatology, and dermatology consultants were interviewed. Two focus groups were conducted with patients prescribed infliximab (n = 2) and etanercept originators (n = 7). Four main themes emerged, as follows: (1) ‘Benefit to the NHS’; (2) ‘Evidence for efficacy and safety’; (3) ‘Team roles’; and (4) ‘Effective communication during switching’, with sub-themes such as (4a) ‘What patients want to know’ and (4b) ‘How it should be communicated’. Recognition of the ability to save NHS money was an enabler for both patients and consultants, with patients wanting to be reassured that the money saved would be used to benefit other patients. Consultants did not always believe that biosimilars had similar efficacy as the originators or that the manufacturing standards were the same. Effective interventions to address these concerns are required. Offering patients the opportunity to revert back to their originator if necessary was seen as an enabler, as was the provision of readily available mechanisms for reporting suspected adverse events resulting from switching. The role of pharmacy in the process of switching from originator biologics to biosimilars can range from educating consultants regarding the safety and efficacy of biosimilars, explaining the rationale for switching patients, and providing a route for reporting adverse events. Full article
12 pages, 1054 KiB  
Article
Human Healthcare and Its Pharmacy Component from a Safety Point of View
by Natalia Tkachenko, Ostap Pankevych, Tamara Mahanova, Bohdan Hromovyk, Roman Lesyk and Lilia Lesyk
Pharmacy 2024, 12(2), 64; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy12020064 - 07 Apr 2024
Viewed by 865
Abstract
Healthcare plays a crucial role in public and national safety as a significant part of state activity and a component of national safety, whose mission is to organize and ensure affordable medical care for the population. The four stages of the genesis of [...] Read more.
Healthcare plays a crucial role in public and national safety as a significant part of state activity and a component of national safety, whose mission is to organize and ensure affordable medical care for the population. The four stages of the genesis of healthcare safety development with the corresponding safety models of formation were defined: technical, human factor or security management, systemic security management, and cognitive complexity. It was established that at all stages, little attention is paid to the issues of the formation of the pharmaceutical sector’s safety. Taking into account the development of safety models that arise during the four stages of the genesis of safety science, we have proposed a model of the evolution of pharmaceutical safety formation. At the same time, future research is proposed to focus on new holistic concepts of safety, such as “Safety II”, evaluation and validation methods, especially in the pharmaceutical sector, where the development of this topic remained in the second stage of the evolution of science, the search for pharmaceutical errors related to drugs. Full article
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12 pages, 463 KiB  
Article
Recognition of Community Pharmacists’ Behaviors Related to Information Sharing: A Cross-Sectional Study
by Ryota Kumaki, Chika Kiyozuka, Mika Naganuma, Satoshi Yuge, Ryota Tsukioka, Hidehiko Sakurai and Keiko Kishimoto
Pharmacy 2024, 12(2), 63; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy12020063 - 06 Apr 2024
Viewed by 319
Abstract
With the recent shift in community pharmacist services toward in-person services and the growing need for centralized and continuous medication management/monitoring, pharmacist–patient information sharing is crucial. This study investigated the pharmacist–patient gap in the recognition of pharmacists’ behaviors regarding information sharing and assessed [...] Read more.
With the recent shift in community pharmacist services toward in-person services and the growing need for centralized and continuous medication management/monitoring, pharmacist–patient information sharing is crucial. This study investigated the pharmacist–patient gap in the recognition of pharmacists’ behaviors regarding information sharing and assessed the potential impact of such recognition on patient trust and willingness to self-disclose. This cross-sectional study included 600 patients (aged 21–85 years) using pharmacy services (surveyed online in December 2020) and 591 community pharmacists with ≥1 year of experience (surveyed from September to November 2021). Both groups responded to items on the recognition of pharmacists’ behaviors regarding information sharing. There were patient-specific items on trust in community pharmacists and willingness to self-disclose. For all items on the recognition of pharmacists’ behaviors, patients’ scores were significantly lower (4–5) than pharmacists’ own scores (≥5), revealing a notable perception gap. Patients’ recognition had a positive, direct effect on trust and willingness, and trust had a positive, direct effect on willingness. Patients’ recognition and trust positively influenced their willingness to self-disclose. Pharmacist communication with clear intent is important to bridge the gaps in pharmacist–patient recognition and foster effective patient–pharmacist relationships. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pharmaceutical Care Services in Pharmacy Practice II)
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8 pages, 470 KiB  
Brief Report
Association of Average Daily Morphine Milligram Equivalents and Falls in Older Adult Chronic Opioid Users
by Stephanie Hwang, Tamera D. Hughes, Joshua Niznik and Stefanie P. Ferreri
Pharmacy 2024, 12(2), 62; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy12020062 - 03 Apr 2024
Viewed by 316
Abstract
Opioids remain commonly prescribed in older adults, despite the known association with falls and fall-related injuries. This retrospective cohort study sought to determine the association of opioid use and falls in older adult opioid users. Using a one-year lookback period in electronic health [...] Read more.
Opioids remain commonly prescribed in older adults, despite the known association with falls and fall-related injuries. This retrospective cohort study sought to determine the association of opioid use and falls in older adult opioid users. Using a one-year lookback period in electronic health records, daily morphine milligram equivalents (MMEs) were calculated using prescription orders. Fall history was based on patient self-reporting. A receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve was used to identify the threshold of average daily MMEs at which the likelihood of falls was increased. Older opioid users were most often women and White, with 30% having fallen in the prior year. In ROC analyses (n = 590), the threshold where fall risk increased was 37 MMEs (p = 0.07). Older adults prescribed more than 37 MMEs daily may be at increased fall risk and should be targeted for deprescribing interventions. Additionally, analysis on patient characteristics and covariates suggest that sex, age, COPD, sleep apnea, cancer, and psychiatric conditions may indicate an increased risk of falls in older adults taking chronic opioids (p < 0.05). Multifactorial interventions may be needed to modify fall risk beyond medication use alone. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medication Use and Patient Safety in Clinical Pharmacy)
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12 pages, 809 KiB  
Review
Evolution of Telehealth—Its Impact on Palliative Care and Medication Management
by Syed N. Imam, Ursula K. Braun, Mary A. Garcia and Leanne K. Jackson
Pharmacy 2024, 12(2), 61; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy12020061 - 02 Apr 2024
Viewed by 448
Abstract
Palliative care plays a crucial role in enhancing the quality of life for individuals facing serious illnesses, aiming to alleviate suffering and provide holistic support. With the advent of telehealth, there is a growing interest in leveraging technology to extend the reach and [...] Read more.
Palliative care plays a crucial role in enhancing the quality of life for individuals facing serious illnesses, aiming to alleviate suffering and provide holistic support. With the advent of telehealth, there is a growing interest in leveraging technology to extend the reach and effectiveness of palliative care services. This article provides a comprehensive review of the evolution of telehealth, the current state of telemedicine in palliative care, and the role of telepharmacy and medication management. Herein we highlight the potential benefits, challenges, and future directions of palliative telemedicine. As the field continues to advance, the article proposes key considerations for future research, policy development, and clinical implementation, aiming to maximize the advantages of telehealth in assisting individuals and their families throughout the palliative care journey. The comprehensive analysis presented herein contributes to a deeper understanding of the role of telehealth in palliative care and serves as a guide for shaping its future trajectory. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medicine Use and Management in Palliative Care)
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12 pages, 491 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of Oral Amoxicillin/Clavulanate for Urinary Tract Infections Caused by Ceftriaxone Non-Susceptible Enterobacterales
by Madison E. Salam, Meghan Jeffres, Kyle C. Molina, Matthew A. Miller, Misha Huang and Douglas N. Fish
Pharmacy 2024, 12(2), 60; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy12020060 - 01 Apr 2024
Viewed by 1051
Abstract
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are one of the most common infections and are frequently caused by Gram-negative organisms. The rise of resistant isolates has prompted evaluation of alternative therapies, including amoxicillin-clavulanate which has potent activity against Ambler class A enzymes. This study sought [...] Read more.
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are one of the most common infections and are frequently caused by Gram-negative organisms. The rise of resistant isolates has prompted evaluation of alternative therapies, including amoxicillin-clavulanate which has potent activity against Ambler class A enzymes. This study sought to evaluate clinical outcomes of patients with ceftriaxone non-susceptible UTIs receiving amoxicillin-clavulanate or standard of care (SOC). This was a single-center, retrospective, cohort study of adult patients with urinary tract infections caused by a ceftriaxone non-susceptible pathogen who received amoxicillin-clavulanate or SOC. The primary outcome was clinical failure at 90 days. Secondary outcomes included time to failure, isolation of a resistant organism, and hospital length of stay. Fifty-nine patients met study inclusion: 26 received amoxicillin/clavulanate and 33 received SOC. Amoxicillin-clavulanate recipients did not have higher failure rates compared to SOC recipients. For patients requiring hospital admission, hospital length of stay was numerically shorter with amoxicillin-clavulanate. The frequency of amoxicillin-clavulanate and carbapenem-resistant organisms did not differ significantly between groups. Amoxicillin-clavulanate may be a useful alternative therapy for the treatment of ceftriaxone non-susceptible Enterobacterales UTIs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pharmacist-Led Antimicrobial Stewardship 2.0)
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15 pages, 250 KiB  
Article
Closing the Tobacco Treatment Gap: A Qualitative Study of Tobacco Cessation Service Implementation in Community Pharmacies
by Katy Ellis Hilts, Nervana Elkhadragy, Robin L. Corelli, Micah Hata, Elisa K. Tong, Francis M. Vitale and Karen Suchanek Hudmon
Pharmacy 2024, 12(2), 59; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy12020059 - 28 Mar 2024
Viewed by 623
Abstract
Tobacco use remains a leading preventable cause of morbidity and mortality, with pharmacotherapy and counseling recognized as effective cessation aids. Yet, the potential role of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians in tobacco cessation services is underutilized. This study explores the integration of such services [...] Read more.
Tobacco use remains a leading preventable cause of morbidity and mortality, with pharmacotherapy and counseling recognized as effective cessation aids. Yet, the potential role of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians in tobacco cessation services is underutilized. This study explores the integration of such services in community pharmacies, identifying facilitators and barriers to their implementation. A qualitative study was conducted across seven community pharmacies in California that were affiliated with the Community Pharmacy Enhanced Services Network. Participants included 22 pharmacists and 26 pharmacy technicians/clerks who completed tobacco cessation training. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews, focusing on experiences with implementing cessation services. The analysis was guided by Rogers’ Diffusion of Innovations Theory. MAXQDA software was used for data management and thematic analysis. Sixteen pharmacy personnel participated in the study, highlighting key themes around the integration of cessation services. Compatibility with existing workflows, the importance of staff buy-in, and the crucial role of pharmacy technicians emerged as significant facilitators. Challenges included the complexity of billing for services, software limitations for documenting tobacco use and cessation interventions, and gaps in training for handling complex patient cases. Despite these barriers, pharmacies successfully initiated cessation services, with variations in service delivery and follow-up practices. Community pharmacies represent viable settings for delivering tobacco cessation services, with pharmacists and technicians playing pivotal roles. However, systemic changes are needed to address challenges related to billing, documentation, and training. Enhancing the integration of cessation services in community pharmacies could significantly impact public health by increasing access to effective cessation support. Full article
12 pages, 265 KiB  
Review
A Comparison of Currently Approved Small Interfering RNA (siRNA) Medications to Alternative Treatments by Costs, Indications, and Medicaid Coverage
by Inder Sehgal, Kevin Eells and Imani Hudson
Pharmacy 2024, 12(2), 58; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy12020058 - 28 Mar 2024
Viewed by 869
Abstract
Small interfering RNA (siRNA)-based medications offer the ability to target previously undruggable targets and have now received FDA approval in five instances for orphan or uncommon diseases. The current siRNA “-sirans” are directed towards hepatic molecular targets. Because they are not conventional drug [...] Read more.
Small interfering RNA (siRNA)-based medications offer the ability to target previously undruggable targets and have now received FDA approval in five instances for orphan or uncommon diseases. The current siRNA “-sirans” are directed towards hepatic molecular targets. Because they are not conventional drug formulae, their ultimate clinical success will require overcoming multiple barriers beyond their pharmacology. The minimal patient numbers leave fewer patients to bear the costs of R&D and manufacture; therefore, the cost of these drugs, questionable third-party reimbursement, and competition from other drug classes for the same low number of patients are impediments to patient access. The parenteral route of administration, as well as emerging safety restrictions, are also drawbacks to siRNA. With this review, we document currently approved siRNA drugs by condition, approval date, administration route and frequencies. We have estimated the available patient populations for siran therapies using the U.S. Medicaid and Medicare populations and sought to identify the frequency with which large Medicaid formularies list siRNA drugs. Current comparative costs between the siRNA drugs and alternatives have been presented, and the review summarizes current adverse events as reported to the FDA’s Adverse Event Reporting System. Our review and data indicate that sirans are extremely expensive and seldom recognized in posted Medicaid formularies. However, alternative treatments for these conditions are no less costly, usually do not have significantly different adverse events, and are often less convenient for the patient. Full article
11 pages, 233 KiB  
Article
Views of the Pharmacists’ Role in HPV Vaccinations: A Qualitative Study in Tennessee
by Alina Cernasev, Kenneth C. Hohmeier, Oluwafemifola Oyedeji, Kristina W. Kintziger and Tracy M. Hagemann
Pharmacy 2024, 12(2), 57; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy12020057 - 28 Mar 2024
Viewed by 658
Abstract
The Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is a frequently occurring sexually transmitted infection in adults and is associated with various cancers that can affect both males and females. Recently, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) expanded its recommendations for the HPV vaccine to include [...] Read more.
The Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is a frequently occurring sexually transmitted infection in adults and is associated with various cancers that can affect both males and females. Recently, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) expanded its recommendations for the HPV vaccine to include patients aged 27–45 years with shared clinical decision-making. A commonly reported obstacle to receiving the HPV vaccine among adults is a lack of healthcare provider recommendations. Considering the suboptimal HPV vaccine coverage figures and noting that the vast majority of hesitancy research has been conducted among children and adolescents, limited research is available on the adult perception of HPV vaccination in pharmacies. This study focuses on understanding adults’ opinions and perceptions regarding the role of pharmacists in the uptake of the HPV vaccine and awareness of its availability in the pharmacy setting. Methods: After receiving approval from the Institutional Review Board (IRB), the qualitative study was initiated using virtual focus groups (FGs). Concepts from the Transtheoretical Model, the Health Belief Model, and the Social Cognitive Theory guided the study design. The corpus of data was collected in 2021 and 2022 by two researchers, and a third party transcribed the FGs to avoid any biases. The data were analyzed using Braun and Clarke’s Thematic Analysis. Results: Out of 35 subjects that participated in six FGDs, most identified as female, with ages ranging from 18 to 45 years. The following four themes emerged: (1) HPV vaccine awareness; (2) stigmas leading to reduced education and vaccination rates; (3) education preferences; (4) follow-up in vaccination series reminders and preferences. Conclusion: Participants’ views of the HPV vaccine and the ability to receive the vaccine in a pharmacy are influenced by a myriad of factors. Common factors include improved awareness, preferences for educational modalities, avoiding stigmas associated with HPV vaccination, combating gender-focused biases, and preferences for the location of vaccination. These barriers provide opportunities for pharmacists to promote and enhance vaccine uptake. Full article
13 pages, 1714 KiB  
Article
Irrational Use of Medications among Adults with Insomnia: An Observational Study at a Sleep Clinic in Mexico
by Lucelya Carvalho-Silva, Ulises Jiménez-Correa, Rafael Santana-Miranda, Ivo Heyerdahl-Viau, Jonatan Benitez-Morales, Mireya García-Casas and Juan Manuel Martínez-Núñez
Pharmacy 2024, 12(2), 56; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy12020056 - 27 Mar 2024
Viewed by 486
Abstract
Background: To determine the patterns of irrational use of medications among a sample of adult patients with insomnia. Methods: We included 89 adult patients diagnosed with chronic insomnia who had consumed medications for this disorder during the 12 months prior to admission to [...] Read more.
Background: To determine the patterns of irrational use of medications among a sample of adult patients with insomnia. Methods: We included 89 adult patients diagnosed with chronic insomnia who had consumed medications for this disorder during the 12 months prior to admission to a specialized Sleep Disorders Clinic (SDC) in Mexico City. With a 13-item survey, information was gathered on patterns of medication use and irrational use, considering therapeutic indications, dose, route of administration, and duration of treatment. Results: The participants had taken hypnotics (65%), antidepressants (21%), anticonvulsants (8%), and antipsychotics (6%), and 92% had irrational use of their medication. Irrational use was greatest with benzodiazepines and antipsychotics. There were two main types of irrational use: (1) 47% of participants had consumed a drug unsuitable for their condition, although it was almost always prescribed by a doctor, and (2) 43% had consumed a drug for longer than the maximum time recommended. Conclusion: It is worrisome to find that the irrational use of medications to treat insomnia, especially benzodiazepines and antipsychotics is widespread. Although most participants had acquired their medication by prescription, for many the drug was inappropriate to treat their condition. It should be mandatory that patients with insomnia receive specialized medical attention in primary clinical care. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medication Use and Patient Safety in Clinical Pharmacy)
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12 pages, 213 KiB  
Article
Empowering Student Pharmacists to Counsel Patients on Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals through Interactive Role-Play
by Alina Cernasev, Amy Hall, Stacey Thomas-Gooch and Devin Scott
Pharmacy 2024, 12(2), 55; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy12020055 - 26 Mar 2024
Viewed by 489
Abstract
Preparing the next generation of pharmacists to succeed in practice and provide premier care starts with ensuring pharmacy education standards are met and align with innovative practices and that education incorporates topics that are important to promoting health. For example, recent reports link [...] Read more.
Preparing the next generation of pharmacists to succeed in practice and provide premier care starts with ensuring pharmacy education standards are met and align with innovative practices and that education incorporates topics that are important to promoting health. For example, recent reports link endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) to numerous diseases such as reproductive disorders, metabolic diseases, and developmental abnormalities. Considering the suboptimal awareness and knowledge about EDCs, it is imperative to provide public health education through a pharmacy curriculum. The objective of this study was to evaluate student pharmacists’ perceptions of the impact of a role play activity on their knowledge of EDCs and counseling skills. A secondary objective was to explore student pharmacists’ perceptions of how role play might impact their future career as a pharmacist. A retrospective qualitative study consisting of a lecture, a pre-brief, a low-fidelity simulation centered on role-play, and debrief to develop knowledge of EDCs to practice counseling skills, and a post reflection was implemented to explore this aim. Third year student pharmacists who were enrolled on the public health elective course were eligible to participate in the study. All reflections were de-identified, imported into a qualitative software, Dedoose®, Version 9.2.6 and thematically analyzed using an inductive approach. Thematic analysis revealed three master themes, which tell the story of an initial lack of familiarity with EDCs that was rectified by the lecture and low-fidelity simulation. In the first theme, we can see that all of the participants noted their positive perceptions of the low-fidelity simulation, especially the role playing on a topic they lacked familiarity with. In the second theme, participants revealed the activity’s impact on their performance or behaviors. Finally, the third theme explores the future implications of a pharmacist’s impact on public health. This novel study contributes to a growing body of literature on the impact of pharmacy education practices and instruction on public health. The findings suggest that pharmacy educators might consider incorporating role playing instruction for public health topics, EDCs, or topics not traditionally taught in the pharmacy curriculum. Full article
14 pages, 608 KiB  
Article
Impact of a Mock OSCE on Student Confidence in Applying the Pharmacists’ Patient Care Process
by Eleonso Cristobal, Kathryn Perkins, Connie Kang and Steven Chen
Pharmacy 2024, 12(2), 54; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy12020054 - 24 Mar 2024
Viewed by 725
Abstract
The Medical and Pharmacy Student Collaboration (MAPSC) student organization at the University of Southern California, Alfred E. Mann School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, created an extracurricular, peer-led, virtual group mock objective structured clinical examination (MOSCE) to expose first-year pharmacy students (P1s) to [...] Read more.
The Medical and Pharmacy Student Collaboration (MAPSC) student organization at the University of Southern California, Alfred E. Mann School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, created an extracurricular, peer-led, virtual group mock objective structured clinical examination (MOSCE) to expose first-year pharmacy students (P1s) to the Pharmacists’ Patient Care Process (PPCP). The purpose of this study is to evaluate the impact of a MAPSC MOSCE on P1s self-reported confidence in applying the PPCP and on patient communication, medication knowledge, and clinical skills. An anonymous, optional, self-reported survey was administered to P1s before and after the event, where they rated their confidence on a scale of 0–100 (0 = not confident, 100 = certainly confident). The statistical analysis was a paired two-tailed t-test with a significance level of p < 0.05. A total of 152 P1s and 30 facilitators attended the MOSCE. One hundred thirty-nine students met the inclusion criteria and were included in the data analysis. There was a statistically significant difference in the change in self-reported confidence for all PPCP components and learning outcomes. The results of our study strongly indicate that introducing P1 students to the PPCP through a MAPSC MOSCE format is a valuable experience. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Experiential Learning in Pharmacy)
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12 pages, 763 KiB  
Article
Leveraging Large Data, Statistics, and Machine Learning to Predict the Emergence of Resistant E. coli Infections
by Rim Hur, Stephine Golik and Yifan She
Pharmacy 2024, 12(2), 53; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy12020053 - 22 Mar 2024
Viewed by 697
Abstract
Drug-resistant Gram-negative bacterial infections, on average, increase the length of stay (LOS) in U.S. hospitals by 5 days, translating to approximately $15,000 per patient. We used statistical and machine-learning models to explore the relationship between antibiotic usage and antibiotic resistance over time and [...] Read more.
Drug-resistant Gram-negative bacterial infections, on average, increase the length of stay (LOS) in U.S. hospitals by 5 days, translating to approximately $15,000 per patient. We used statistical and machine-learning models to explore the relationship between antibiotic usage and antibiotic resistance over time and to predict the clinical and financial costs associated with resistant E. coli infections. We acquired data on antibiotic utilization and the resistance/sensitivity of 4776 microbial cultures at a Kaiser Permanente facility from April 2013 to December 2019. The ARIMA (autoregressive integrated moving average), neural networks, and random forest time series algorithms were employed to model antibiotic resistance trends. The models’ performance was evaluated using mean absolute error (MAE) and root mean squared error (RMSE). The best performing model was then used to predict antibiotic resistance rates for the year 2020. The ARIMA model with cefazolin, followed by the one with cephalexin, provided the lowest RMSE and MAE values without signs of overfitting across training and test datasets. The study showed that reducing cefazolin usage could decrease the rate of resistant E. coli infections. Although piperacillin/tazobactam did not perform as well as cefazolin in our time series models, it performed reasonably well and, due to its broad spectrum, might be a practical target for interventions in antimicrobial stewardship programs (ASPs), at least for this particular facility. While a more generalized model could be developed with data from multiple facilities, this study acts as a framework for ASP clinicians to adopt statistical and machine-learning approaches, using region-specific data to make effective interventions. Full article
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11 pages, 360 KiB  
Review
Adverse Childhood Experiences and Prescription Stimulant Use in Adults: A Systematic Review
by Avery Beatty, Emily Shepard, Erek Bickford and Lisa Weyandt
Pharmacy 2024, 12(2), 52; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy12020052 - 21 Mar 2024
Viewed by 623
Abstract
Nonmedical prescription stimulant use (NPSU) is an ongoing public health crisis in the United States. There exists, however, a dearth of research investigating specific childhood risk factors that may contribute to this illicit use. Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) may be a significant risk [...] Read more.
Nonmedical prescription stimulant use (NPSU) is an ongoing public health crisis in the United States. There exists, however, a dearth of research investigating specific childhood risk factors that may contribute to this illicit use. Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) may be a significant risk factor to address in the prevention and treatment of NPSU, as research has provided evidence for increased substance use, potentially including prescription stimulant misuse, among individuals who have experienced trauma. A systematic review of the literature was conducted to gather and synthesize research articles specifically examining the relationship between nonmedical prescription stimulant use in adults and the experience of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). Four studies met all inclusion criteria and were included in the review. The results demonstrated that the nonmedical use of prescription stimulants in adults is significantly associated with ACEs, with a higher numerical count of ACEs associated with a greater likelihood of nonmedical prescription stimulant use. Gaps in the literature were identified, specifically noting a lack of information available regarding the relationship between ACEs and NPSU within gender- and racially diverse populations. The findings have implications for informing interventions related to ACEs and the misuse of prescription stimulant medication in adults. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pharmacy Practice and Practice-Based Research)
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7 pages, 184 KiB  
Brief Report
Pharmacy Students’ Perceived Ability to Implement the Pharmacist’s Patient Care Process before and after a Redesigned Case Study Series in the United States
by Amy Henneman and Samantha Axtell
Pharmacy 2024, 12(2), 51; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy12020051 - 19 Mar 2024
Viewed by 567
Abstract
Since the incorporation of the Pharmacist’s Patient Care Process (PPCP) into the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy standards, the process has been integrated in a variety of ways across curriculums. A two-semester case-based course was redesigned as a four-semester case-based course formally [...] Read more.
Since the incorporation of the Pharmacist’s Patient Care Process (PPCP) into the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy standards, the process has been integrated in a variety of ways across curriculums. A two-semester case-based course was redesigned as a four-semester case-based course formally integrating the PPCP. Pharmacy students completing the original, two-semester course series and those completing the first two semesters of the redesigned course were given a voluntary survey to assess their perceived ability to integrate the PPCP into practice after the completion of each course. A total of 107 pharmacy students, 61 students completing the original series and 46 students completing two semesters of the redesigned series, completed the survey. The pharmacy students completing the redesigned, four-semester course series had a significantly higher perception of their ability to integrate the PPCP into patient care compared to the students completing the original series. This included the perceived ability to ask appropriate questions, identify medication-related problems (MRPs), document MRPs, and develop a plan for addressing MRPs. A significant difference was found in the students’ perceived ability to ask pertinent questions in an appropriate manner, identifying and documenting MRPs, managing and solving MRPs, and documenting patient interactions. No significant difference was identified regarding the students’ perceived ability to document the interaction or ensure that treatment-related plans were implemented. The students’ perception regarding the importance of asking pertinent questions, identifying MRPs, and documentation in patient care did not differ between the cohorts. The case-based course series redesigned from two to four semesters with formal integration of the PPCP resulted in an increase in the students’ perceptions of their ability to integrate the PPCP into patient care. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pharmacy Education and Student/Practitioner Training)
13 pages, 373 KiB  
Article
Timely, Cheap, or Risk-Free? The Effect of Regulation on the Price and Availability of New Drugs
by Laura Levaggi and Rosella Levaggi
Pharmacy 2024, 12(2), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy12020050 - 18 Mar 2024
Viewed by 648
Abstract
The high level of regulation of innovative drugs on the market, which is necessary to protect consumers, produces important effects on drug availability and innovation. In public healthcare systems, the need to curb prices comes from expenditure considerations. The aim of price regulation [...] Read more.
The high level of regulation of innovative drugs on the market, which is necessary to protect consumers, produces important effects on drug availability and innovation. In public healthcare systems, the need to curb prices comes from expenditure considerations. The aim of price regulation is to obtain a more equitable allocation of the value of an innovative drug between industries and patients (by reducing prices to make drugs more affordable), but it may also reduce access. (In the listing process, the industry may find it more convenient to limit commercialisation to profitable subgroups of patients.) Furthermore, with the advent of personalised medicine, there is another important dimension that has to be considered, namely, incentives to invest in drug personalisation. In this paper, we review and discuss the impact of different pricing rules on the expenditure and availability of new drugs. Full article
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15 pages, 1157 KiB  
Article
Polypharmacy Is Associated with Sociodemographic Factors and Socioeconomic Status in United States Adults
by Vishal Vennu
Pharmacy 2024, 12(2), 49; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy12020049 - 12 Mar 2024
Viewed by 868
Abstract
A thorough understanding of polypharmacy is required to create public health initiatives that minimize the potential for adverse outcomes. This study aimed to investigate the relationship between sociodemographic factors, socioeconomic status (SES), and polypharmacy risk in United States (US) individuals between 1999–2000 and [...] Read more.
A thorough understanding of polypharmacy is required to create public health initiatives that minimize the potential for adverse outcomes. This study aimed to investigate the relationship between sociodemographic factors, socioeconomic status (SES), and polypharmacy risk in United States (US) individuals between 1999–2000 and 2017–2018. The cross-sectional National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey dataset covered ten cycles between 1999–2000 and 2017–2018. All individuals aged ≥18 years were included. The simultaneous use of at least five medications by one person is known as polypharmacy. Multivariable logistic regression showed that there was a statistically significant association between polypharmacy sociodemographic factors (such as age between 45 and 64 (odds ratio [OR] = 3.76; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 3.60–3.92; p < 0.0001) and age of 65 years or above (OR = 3.96; 95% CI = 3.79–4.13; p < 0.0001), especially women (OR = 1.09; 95% CI = 1.06–1.13; p < 0.0001), non-Hispanic blacks (OR = 1.66; 95% CI = 1.51–1.83; p < 0.0001), and veterans (OR = 1.27; 95% CI = 1.22–1.31; p < 0.0001)) and SES (such as being married (OR = 1.14; 95% CI = 1.08–1.19; p = 0.031), widowed, divorced, or separated (OR = 1.21; 95% CI = 1.15–1.26; p < 0.0001), a college graduate or above (OR = 1.21, 95% CI = 1.15–1.27, p < 0.0001), and earning > USD 55,000 per year (OR = 1.86; 95% CI = 1.79–1.93; p < 0.0001)). Individuals aged 45 years and above, women, and non-Hispanic blacks with higher educational levels and yearly incomes were more likely to experience polypharmacy in the US between 1999–2000 and 2017–2018. Full article
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16 pages, 1949 KiB  
Review
A Systematic Review of Naldemedine and Naloxegol for the Treatment of Opioid-Induced Constipation in Cancer Patients
by Ursula K. Braun, Leanne K. Jackson, Mary A. Garcia and Syed N. Imam
Pharmacy 2024, 12(2), 48; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy12020048 - 06 Mar 2024
Viewed by 1088
Abstract
Background: Opioid-induced constipation (OIC) is a pervasive and distressing side effect of chronic opioid therapy in patients with cancer pain, significantly impacting their quality of life. Peripherally acting μ-opioid receptor antagonists (PAMORAS) were developed for treatment-resistant OIC but most studies were conducted with [...] Read more.
Background: Opioid-induced constipation (OIC) is a pervasive and distressing side effect of chronic opioid therapy in patients with cancer pain, significantly impacting their quality of life. Peripherally acting μ-opioid receptor antagonists (PAMORAS) were developed for treatment-resistant OIC but most studies were conducted with non-cancer patients. Objective: to discuss two oral formulations of PAMORAs, naldemedine and naloxegol, and to review available evidence of the effectiveness of these drugs for OIC in cancer patients. Methods: a comprehensive search to identify primary literature for either naldemedine or naloxegol for OIC in cancer patients. Results: Only three prospective randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials for naldemedine enrolling cancer patients were identified; the results of a subgroup analysis of two of those studies and two non-interventional post marketing surveillance studies of these trials are also reported here. For naloxegol, only two randomized controlled trials were identified; both were unsuccessful in enrolling sufficient patients. An additional four prospective non-interventional observational studies with naloxegol were found that enrolled cancer patients. There were significantly higher rates of responders in the PAMORA groups than in the placebo groups. The most common side effect for both PAMORAs was diarrhea. Limitations: All studies were industry-funded, and given that only three trials were randomized controlled studies, the overall quality of the studies was lacking. Conclusion: Naldemedine or naloxegol appeared safe and useful in the treatment of OIC in cancer patients and may improve their quality of life. Larger-scale randomized placebo-controlled studies of PAMORAs in cancer patients would strengthen existing evidence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medicine Use and Management in Palliative Care)
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9 pages, 233 KiB  
Review
Rational Prescribing of Pancreatic Enzymes for Patients with Pancreatic Cancer
by Mary Acelle G. Garcia, Syed Imam, Ursula K. Braun and Leanne K. Jackson
Pharmacy 2024, 12(2), 47; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy12020047 - 06 Mar 2024
Viewed by 1068
Abstract
Most patients with pancreatic cancer at some point present with symptoms related to exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI). These include diarrhea, abdominal bloating, indigestion, steatorrhea, weight loss, and anorexia. Even though up to 80% of pancreatic cancer patients eventually present with symptoms related to [...] Read more.
Most patients with pancreatic cancer at some point present with symptoms related to exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI). These include diarrhea, abdominal bloating, indigestion, steatorrhea, weight loss, and anorexia. Even though up to 80% of pancreatic cancer patients eventually present with symptoms related to exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, only 21% are prescribed pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy (PERT). Its effectiveness is also highly dependent on its proper timing of administration, and patients must be thoroughly educated about this. The impact of symptoms of EPI can lead to poorer overall well-being. Pharmacists play a crucial role in properly educating patients on the correct use of pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy. PERT is a key strategy in managing the symptoms of EPI and can improve quality of life, which is a central focus in palliative care. This treatment is profoundly underutilized in the palliative care of these patients. The objective of this review is to discuss the pharmacology, pharmacokinetics, side effects, available evidence of the effectiveness of pancreatic enzyme use for patients with pancreatic cancer, and challenges, along with proposed solutions regarding its use. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medicine Use and Management in Palliative Care)
13 pages, 1681 KiB  
Article
Decreases and Pronounced Geographic Variability in Antibiotic Prescribing in Medicaid
by Alexia G. Aguilar, Priscilla C. Canals, Maria Tian, Kimberly A. Miller and Brian J. Piper
Pharmacy 2024, 12(2), 46; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy12020046 - 01 Mar 2024
Viewed by 989
Abstract
Antibiotic resistance is a persistent and growing concern. Our objective was to analyze antibiotic prescribing in the United States (US) in the Medical Expenditure Panel System (MEPS) and to Medicaid patients. We obtained MEPS prescriptions for eight antibiotics from 2013 to 2020. We [...] Read more.
Antibiotic resistance is a persistent and growing concern. Our objective was to analyze antibiotic prescribing in the United States (US) in the Medical Expenditure Panel System (MEPS) and to Medicaid patients. We obtained MEPS prescriptions for eight antibiotics from 2013 to 2020. We extracted prescribing rates per 1000 Medicaid enrollees for two years, 2018 and 2019, for four broad-spectrum (azithromycin, ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin, and moxifloxacin) and four narrow-spectrum (amoxicillin, cephalexin, doxycycline, and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole) antibiotics. Antibiotic prescriptions in MEPS decreased from 2013 to 2020 by 38.7%, with a larger decline for the broad (−53.7%) than narrow (−23.5%) spectrum antibiotics. Antibiotic prescriptions in Medicaid decreased by 6.7%. Amoxicillin was the predominant antibiotic, followed by azithromycin, cephalexin, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, doxycycline, ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin, and moxifloxacin. Substantial geographic variation in prescribing existed, with a 2.8-fold difference between the highest (Kentucky = 855/1000) and lowest (Oregon = 299) states. The South prescribed 52.2% more antibiotics (580/1000) than the West (381/1000). There were significant correlations across states (r = 0.81 for azithromycin and amoxicillin). This study identified sizable disparities by geography in the prescribing rates of eight antibiotics with over three-fold state-level differences. Areas with high prescribing rates, particularly for outpatients, may benefit from stewardship programs to reduce potentially unnecessary prescribing. Full article
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12 pages, 241 KiB  
Article
Web Survey of Turkish Pharmacy Students Comparing First and Fifth Years’ Antidepressant Awareness and Stigmatizing Attitudes Regarding Depression and Anxiety
by Nadir Yalçın, Gökçe Gül Özkan, Karel Allegaert, Sertaç Ak and Kutay Demirkan
Pharmacy 2024, 12(2), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy12020045 - 01 Mar 2024
Viewed by 968
Abstract
The prevalence of depression and anxiety has increased day by day. Prejudice, self-stigma, and public stigma, on the other hand, continue to prevent patients from seeking adequate treatment, particularly in traditional communities. In this web-based, cross-sectional study, both the presence of depression and [...] Read more.
The prevalence of depression and anxiety has increased day by day. Prejudice, self-stigma, and public stigma, on the other hand, continue to prevent patients from seeking adequate treatment, particularly in traditional communities. In this web-based, cross-sectional study, both the presence of depression and anxiety, and the knowledge, attitude, and awareness of first- and fifth (final)-year pharmacy students were examined via an online survey. The aim was to demonstrate the potential impact of public information and five years of pharmacy school on knowledge, attitude, and awareness. Our study population consisted of first- and fifth-year pharmacy students enrolled in one faculty of pharmacy during the spring semester of 2022–2023. The Beck Depression Inventory and Beck Anxiety Scale were utilized to measure the presence of depression and anxiety, while the Depression and Antidepressant Awareness and Knowledge Scale (DAKAS) was applied to assess their knowledge, attitude, and awareness. Fifth-year participants (n = 101) exhibited noticeably fewer stigmatizing attitudes than first-year participants (n = 104) (p < 0.05). There was no statistically significant difference between the mean Beck Depression Inventory and Beck Anxiety scores in first- and fifth-year pharmacy students. Being in the fifth class (OR: 3.690; p = 0.025), being of female gender (OR: 4.653; p < 0.001), and having a relationship with someone who took a psychotropic (OR: 3.060; p = 0.008) were associated with a lower overall stigma score by multiple linear regression analysis. The students’ awareness of antidepressants and familiarity with mental health issues at the end of their pharmacy education were higher and stigmatization behavior was lower than in first-year students. The positive attitudes at the end of their training towards depression will reduce the likelihood of future pharmacists’ patients from being exposed to stigmatization, prevents the formation of an additional stress factor, and likely will improve pharmacy practices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pharmacy Education and Student/Practitioner Training)
10 pages, 488 KiB  
Article
Influences of Software Changes on Oxycodone Prescribing at an Australian Tertiary Emergency Department: A Retrospective Review
by Giles Barrington, Katherine Davis, Zach Aandahl, Brodie-Anne Hose, Mitchell Arthur and Viet Tran
Pharmacy 2024, 12(2), 44; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy12020044 - 01 Mar 2024
Viewed by 998
Abstract
Opioid prescribing and dispensing from emergency departments is a noteworthy issue given widespread opioid misuse and diversion in many countries, contributing both physical and economic harm to the population. High patient numbers and the stochastic nature of acute emergency presentations to emergency departments [...] Read more.
Opioid prescribing and dispensing from emergency departments is a noteworthy issue given widespread opioid misuse and diversion in many countries, contributing both physical and economic harm to the population. High patient numbers and the stochastic nature of acute emergency presentations to emergency departments (EDs) introduce challenges for prescribers who are considering opioid stewardship principles. This study investigated the effect of changes to electronic prescribing software on prescriptions with an auto-populated quantity of oxycodone immediate release (IR) from an Australian tertiary emergency department following the implementation of national recommendations for reduced pack sizes. A retrospective review of oxycodone IR prescriptions over two six-month periods between 2019 and 2021 was undertaken, either side of a software adjustment to reduce the default quantities of tablets prescribed from 20 to 10. Patient demographic details were collected, and prescriber years of practice calculated for inclusion in linear mixed effects regression modelling. A reduction in the median number of tablets prescribed per prescription following the software changes (13.5 to 10.0, p < 0.001) with little change in the underlying characteristics of the patient or prescriber populations was observed, as well as an 11.65% reduction in the total number of tablets prescribed. The prescriber’s years of practice, patient age and patient sex were found to influence increased prescription sizes. Reduced quantity of oxycodone tablets prescribed was achieved by alteration of prescribing software prefill parameters, providing further evidence to support systems-based policy interventions to influence health care providers behaviour and to act as a forcing function for prescribers to consider opioid stewardship principles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pharmacists’ Role in Reducing Problematic Opioid Use)
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17 pages, 1271 KiB  
Article
Social Prescribing Competence among Community Pharmacists and Pharmacy Students in Norway
by Riyaan Mahamud Gabeyre, Misbah Hussein, Siedra Salih, Salia Amir and Parisa Gazerani
Pharmacy 2024, 12(2), 43; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy12020043 - 01 Mar 2024
Viewed by 1089
Abstract
Background and aim: Social prescribing, which links patients to non-clinical services and involves general physicians, has been gaining traction. Community pharmacists, who are integral to primary healthcare, have untapped potential in social prescribing. This study explores social prescribing competence among Norwegian community pharmacists [...] Read more.
Background and aim: Social prescribing, which links patients to non-clinical services and involves general physicians, has been gaining traction. Community pharmacists, who are integral to primary healthcare, have untapped potential in social prescribing. This study explores social prescribing competence among Norwegian community pharmacists and pharmacy students. Method: A cross-sectional study utilizing an anonymous online questionnaire to collect quantitative data was conducted. Inspired by the limited relevant literature, the questionnaire was constructed, pilot-tested, and distributed in a one-week window within a Facebook group for Norwegian pharmacists. The questionnaire comprised 23 questions categorized into demographic details and competence assessment, covering general knowledge, attitude, and barriers/facilitators related to social prescribing. Statistical analyses were employed to determine the competence of the participants. Results: The online questionnaire collected data from 96 participants, primarily females (79.2%), aged 25–34 (40.6%), who were identified as community pharmacists (49.0%). Most (91.7%) worked in community pharmacies, with 31.3% having over 10 years of experience. Despite positive client relationships (93.8%), statistical analysis revealed no significant associations between competence and variables such as work experience, education, or gender. The custom scoring system yielded an average competence score of 1.98 on a 5-point scale, with attitudes and perceptions of participants scoring 3.82. Overall competence was calculated at 3.4, indicating a moderate level. Conclusions: The findings of this study reveal that the participants had limited knowledge regarding social prescribing, emphasizing the need for education. However, the participants showed strong enthusiasm for competence development. This groundwork paves the way for future investigations centered on pilot-testing strategies to boost social prescribing knowledge and engagement among Norwegian community pharmacists and pharmacy students. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pharmacy Education and Student/Practitioner Training)
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10 pages, 217 KiB  
Article
An Assessment of Knowledge, Attitude, and Practice (KAP) of Colorectal Cancer among Community Pharmacists in the Qassim Region of Saudi Arabia
by Mohammed Alshammari, Saleh Al-Maktoum, Abdulrahman Alsharidah, Abubakar Siddique, Mohammed Anaam, Saud Alsahali, Yasser Almogbel and Ali Alkhoshaiban
Pharmacy 2024, 12(2), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy12020042 - 27 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1071
Abstract
Background: The global burden of colorectal cancer remains a major public health issue and one of the leading causes of death worldwide. In Saudi Arabia, it continues to be a health concern. Any delays in diagnosis for any reason may contribute to [...] Read more.
Background: The global burden of colorectal cancer remains a major public health issue and one of the leading causes of death worldwide. In Saudi Arabia, it continues to be a health concern. Any delays in diagnosis for any reason may contribute to advanced complications; therefore, pharmacists’ knowledge and awareness of colorectal cancer are crucial for the welfare of society. Studies of colon cancer-related knowledge, attitude, and practice (KAP) among community pharmacists have not previously been conducted in the Al-Qassim region of Saudi Arabia. In the present study, therefore, we sought to investigate the KAP on colon cancer among pharmacists in Al-Qassim. Methods: This was a prospective, cross-sectional, observational study. A sample of 150 community pharmacists was recruited using a convenience sampling method. A self-administered questionnaire was used to evaluate levels of knowledge and practice. Results: Out of a total of 150 pharmacists, the majority of respondents (60.7%) possessed an adequate level of knowledge. About 50% of participants had heard of the early screening test, and 68.7% knew that colonoscopy is necessary in such scenarios. On the basis of their attitudes, 41.3% of study participants were aware of colon cancer symptoms and risk factors. In practice, however, the majority of pharmacists (81%) did not perform early cancer screenings, while 19% did screen when advised to do so by a physician. Conclusions: Our results indicate that pharmacists in Qassim have an adequate level of knowledge of colon cancer in terms of awareness, assessment, and screening. Since community pharmacists are among the most reliable members of the medical community, a greater awareness of colon cancer among pharmacists may improve public knowledge of the disease. Full article
10 pages, 242 KiB  
Article
Exogenous Melatonin Use in University Students: A Cross-Sectional Survey
by Sulafa T. Alqutub, Faris A. Alzahrani, Abdulrahman S. Hassan, Abdullah H. Alirbidi, Osama A. Alraddadi, Omar A. AlSadah, Mohammad B. Yamani and Mansour Tobaiqy
Pharmacy 2024, 12(2), 41; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy12020041 - 23 Feb 2024
Viewed by 3407
Abstract
To assess the prevalence of melatonin use and its perceived benefits among university students in different specialties in Saudi Arabia, a cross-sectional survey was conducted between March and June 2023. Data about demographics, time of melatonin use, perceived reasons for exogenous melatonin use, [...] Read more.
To assess the prevalence of melatonin use and its perceived benefits among university students in different specialties in Saudi Arabia, a cross-sectional survey was conducted between March and June 2023. Data about demographics, time of melatonin use, perceived reasons for exogenous melatonin use, melatonin use in relation to exam periods, perceived safety, and adverse effects was gathered. Of 380 students, ~52% reported using exogenous melatonin for sleep disorders. Most participants reported using melatonin during and after exam periods. Additionally, several (n = 157; 75.4%) believed that its use was safe. The predominant use patterns were daily and as needed, and this study observed a higher rate of use compared with previous studies in Saudi Arabia. The most frequently reported adverse effect was headache (n = 36; 37.5%). A significant number of undergraduate male students in health specialties used melatonin. A high rate of melatonin use was noted during exam periods, which was attributed to sleep deprivation. Additionally, a significant number of students from private universities reported using exogenous melatonin. Melatonin use is common among university students. Future research should use a reliable psychometric measure to test its effect on university students’ sleep quality and quantity. Full article
15 pages, 615 KiB  
Article
Pharmacists’ Attitudes towards Medically Assisted Dying
by Lun Shen Wong, Shane L. Scahill, Emma Barton, Bert Van der Werf, Jessica Boey and Sanyogita (Sanya) Ram
Pharmacy 2024, 12(2), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy12020040 - 20 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1157
Abstract
Aims: We aimed to explore pharmacists’ attitudes and support toward medically assisted dying (MaiD) through the End of Life Choice Act 2019 (EOLC), their willingness to provide services in this area of practice, and the influences on their decisions. Methods: The study was [...] Read more.
Aims: We aimed to explore pharmacists’ attitudes and support toward medically assisted dying (MaiD) through the End of Life Choice Act 2019 (EOLC), their willingness to provide services in this area of practice, and the influences on their decisions. Methods: The study was conducted via an anonymous, online QualtricsTM survey of pharmacists. Registered New Zealand pharmacists who agreed to receive surveys from the two Schools of Pharmacy as part of their Annual Practicing Certificate renewal were invited to participate through an email with a Qualtrics URL link. The survey contained questions regarding demographics, awareness, knowledge, support for, and attitudes and willingness to participate. Results: Of the 335 responses received, 289 were valid and included in the analysis. Most participants supported legally assisted medical dying (58%), almost a third of participants did not support it (29%), and 13% of respondents were unsure. The five primary considerations that participants perceived to be beneficial included support from legislation, respect for patient autonomy, discussions around morality, ending suffering, and preserving dignity. The main concerns were legal, personal bias, palliation, stigmatisation, and vulnerability. Conclusions: The influences on the decision by pharmacists to support and willingness to participate in the provision of services consistent with the EOLC are complex and multifactorial. Diverse factors may influence attitudes, of which religion is the most significant factor in not supporting the Act or willingness to participate. Clarity and standardised guidance to ensure that assisted dying queries are appropriately managed in practice would help to address any potential access issues. Full article
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