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Open AccessArticle

Pharmacists’ Activities to Reduce Medication Waste: An International Survey

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Department of Pharmacy, Sint Maartenskliniek, 6574 NA Nijmegen, The Netherlands
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Department of Clinical Pharmacy, Division Laboratories and Pharmacy, University Medical Centre Utrecht, 3584 CX Utrecht, The Netherlands
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Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Clinical Pharmacology, Utrecht Institute for Pharmaceutical Sciences, Utrecht University, 3584 CG Utrecht, The Netherlands
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Department of Pharmacy, Radboud University Medical Centre, 6525 GA Nijmegen, The Netherlands
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Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Toxicology, Maastricht University Medical Centre, 6229 HX Maastricht, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Pharmacy 2018, 6(3), 94; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy6030094
Received: 26 July 2018 / Revised: 14 August 2018 / Accepted: 23 August 2018 / Published: 29 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medication Wastage)
Aim: To identify activities that pharmacists undertake to reduce medication waste, and to assess the extent to which these activities are implemented, their importance for waste-reduction and feasibility for broad implementation. Methods: A two-phase survey was conducted among community and hospital pharmacists working in different developed countries. Phase one used an open-ended questionnaire to identify activities undertaken by pharmacists. Answers were thematically analysed to construct a list of medication waste-reducing activities. In phase two, a questionnaire was disseminated among pharmacists from different countries, to assess if these activities are implemented (yes/no), their importance and feasibility (1 to 5 ranking scale). Results: In phase one, 53 pharmacists participated and 14 activities were identified. These were categorized into the pharmaceutical supply chain: prescribing, dispensing (pharmacy/patient-related) and leftover stage. In phase two, 89 pharmacists participated. Most activities were implemented by a minority of pharmacists. Reducing medication amounts in stock was most frequently implemented (dispensing stage pharmacy-related; 86%), followed by collecting unused medications (leftover stage; 77%) and performing a medication review (dispensing stage; 68%). Waste-reducing activities in the dispensing stage activities were both considered most important and feasible (ranked 4). Overall, most activities scored higher on importance than on feasibility. Conclusions: Pharmacists have various opportunities to reduce medication waste throughout the pharmaceutical supply chain, however, not all are broadly implemented. Pharmacists consider waste-reducing activities important, but they are less certain about the feasibility for implementation in practice. View Full-Text
Keywords: medication waste; unused medication; pharmacy practice; clinical pharmacy; survey research medication waste; unused medication; pharmacy practice; clinical pharmacy; survey research
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Bekker, C.L.; Gardarsdottir, H.; Egberts, A.C.G.; Bouvy, M.L.; Van den Bemt, B.J.F. Pharmacists’ Activities to Reduce Medication Waste: An International Survey. Pharmacy 2018, 6, 94.

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