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Pharmacy, Volume 7, Issue 1 (March 2019)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Paracetamol is a readily available analgesic and antipyretic agent, which can induce a wide [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle
Provision of Bilingual Dispensing Labels to Non-Native English Speakers: An Exploratory Study
Received: 9 February 2019 / Revised: 14 March 2019 / Accepted: 15 March 2019 / Published: 25 March 2019
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Abstract
Patients with limited English proficiency living in the U.K. receive prescribed medication labels in English. These patients are at risk of worse health outcomes compared with the general population. This article describes a service evaluation of the use of bilingual dispensing labels to [...] Read more.
Patients with limited English proficiency living in the U.K. receive prescribed medication labels in English. These patients are at risk of worse health outcomes compared with the general population. This article describes a service evaluation of the use of bilingual dispensing labels to facilitate patient understanding of medicine administration instructions. Recruited patients answered two questionnaires to assess engagement with and understanding of their medicine labels. The first was completed at the point of dispensing, and the second within six weeks. Questionnaires were either self-completed or via facilitation over the telephone. A total of 151 participants completed the first questionnaire, and 130 completed the follow-up. Key findings highlighted the lack of engagement by participants with English-language labels and their reliance on asking for help from pharmacy staff, friends, or family to understand the information. However, when provided with information in their preferred language, they reported high levels of understanding and sought help less frequently from a third party. This study has shown that this service has improved understanding of labelling information in this target group. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Health Workers’ Perceptions and Expectations of the Role of the Pharmacist in Emergency Units: A Qualitative Study in Kupang, Indonesia
Received: 15 February 2019 / Revised: 17 March 2019 / Accepted: 19 March 2019 / Published: 22 March 2019
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Abstract
Background. An essential way to ensure patient safety in the hospital is by applying pharmacy services in emergency units. This strategy was implemented in Indonesia several years ago, with the aim of ensuring that adequate pharmacy services are given to patients in [...] Read more.
Background. An essential way to ensure patient safety in the hospital is by applying pharmacy services in emergency units. This strategy was implemented in Indonesia several years ago, with the aim of ensuring that adequate pharmacy services are given to patients in hospitals. To achieve this, pharmacists are required to cooperate with other health workers via inter-professional teamwork. This study intended to identify the perceptions and expectations of health workers with respect to pharmacy services in emergency units. Methods. This was a qualitative study, using a phenomenological approach with a semi-structured interview technique to obtain data. This study was performed at the Prof. Dr. W.Z. Johannes Hospital Kupang from June to September 2018. The results of the interviews were thematically analyzed using QSR NVivo software 11. Results. The themes identified in this study included: (1) The positive impact of pharmacists in service; (2) Badan Penyelenggara Jaminan Sosial (BPJS) influence; (3) Acceptance of health workers; (4) Medication administration information; and (5) Expectations of health workers. Various perceptions were conveyed by participants regarding the emergency unit services in the hospital’s pharmaceutical department. Data obtained proved that the existence of a pharmacist increased the efficiency of time for services and prevented human error. Conclusion. Pharmacists and policy-makers play a significant role in providing appropriate pharmaceutical services in emergency units. Pharmacists also need to improve their quality of practice in accordance with their competence. They must review the patient medical history and physician’s prescriptions, educate the patients and other health workers, so that the workload and service time will be reduced. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pharmacist Services)
Open AccessArticle
Diabetes Screening Through Community Pharmacies in England: A Cost-Effectiveness Study
Received: 20 December 2018 / Revised: 25 February 2019 / Accepted: 18 March 2019 / Published: 22 March 2019
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Abstract
Community pharmacies are commonly used to screen for patients with diabetes. The aim of this paper is to estimate the cost per test and cost per appropriately referred patient from a pharmacy perspective using a one-year decision tree model. One-way sensitivity analysis was [...] Read more.
Community pharmacies are commonly used to screen for patients with diabetes. The aim of this paper is to estimate the cost per test and cost per appropriately referred patient from a pharmacy perspective using a one-year decision tree model. One-way sensitivity analysis was performed to estimate the effect of geographical location and patient self-referral rate. Data was used from 164 patients screened and located in an area with average social deprivation and largely white European inhabitants and 172 patients in an area with higher social deprivation (lower than average ability to access society’s resources) and a mixed ethnicity population in England. The diabetes screening consisted of initial risk assessment via questionnaire followed by HbA1c test for those identified as high risk. The cost per person screened was estimated as £28.65. The cost per appropriately referred patient with type 2 diabetes was estimated to range from £7638 to £11,297 in deprived mixed ethnicity and non-deprived areas respectively. This increased to £12,730 and £18,828, respectively, if only 60% of patients referred chose to inform their general practitioner (GP). The cost per test and identification rates through community pharmacies was similar to that reported through medical practices. Locating services in areas of suspected greater diabetes prevalence and increasing the proportion of patients who follow pharmacist advice to attend their medical practice improves cost-effectiveness. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Current and Potential Roles in Sports Pharmacy: A Systematic Review
Received: 13 February 2019 / Revised: 5 March 2019 / Accepted: 8 March 2019 / Published: 14 March 2019
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Abstract
(1) Background: The objective of this systematic review was to evaluate current and potential roles for pharmacists in sports medicine and to identify key themes in outcomes reported in studies. (2) Methods: EMBASE, MEDLINE, CINAHL, Scopus and the Cochrane Library were [...] Read more.
(1) Background: The objective of this systematic review was to evaluate current and potential roles for pharmacists in sports medicine and to identify key themes in outcomes reported in studies. (2) Methods: EMBASE, MEDLINE, CINAHL, Scopus and the Cochrane Library were searched in January 2019. Peer-reviewed, original research articles were considered for inclusion. Articles published in a language other than English were excluded. Quality appraisal was performed independently by two authors. (3) Results: Findings of 11 eligible articles (10 observational and 1 experimental study design) were grouped into three themes: (i) doping prevention and control, (ii) injury management and first aid, and (iii) educational and curricular needs. Pharmacists were perceived as a good potential source of information about doping and are enthusiastic about counseling athletes, but lack knowledge and confidence in this area. While pharmacists were frequently consulted for advice on managing sprains and strains, their advice was not always guided by current evidence. Pharmacists and pharmacy students recalled limited opportunity for education in sports pharmacy. (4) Conclusion: Pharmacists showed a willingness and an aptitude to counsel athletes. However, lack of knowledge and confidence, and limited educational opportunities, were key barriers. More research is necessary to support pharmacists in this role. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Burden of Medicines)
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Open AccessArticle
Pharmacy Technician Review of Oral Nutritional Supplements (ONS) within Care Homes
Received: 31 January 2019 / Revised: 28 February 2019 / Accepted: 1 March 2019 / Published: 6 March 2019
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Abstract
Up to 42% of patients admitted to care homes are at risk of malnutrition. Oral nutritional supplements (ONS) can be prescribed to increase nutritional intake when diet alone is insufficient to meet daily nutritional requirements. Where ONS are inappropriately initiated or continued beyond [...] Read more.
Up to 42% of patients admitted to care homes are at risk of malnutrition. Oral nutritional supplements (ONS) can be prescribed to increase nutritional intake when diet alone is insufficient to meet daily nutritional requirements. Where ONS are inappropriately initiated or continued beyond treatment goals this can contribute to significant waste and unnecessary costs. This study reviewed whether pharmacy technicians working in care home settings can support the cost-effective use of ONS. A quality improvement project using Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) methodology was undertaken by pharmacy technicians working in care homes to review the prescribing and monitoring of ONS. A sample of 330 residents were reviewed across 5 care homes. 45 residents were prescribed ONS, 16 of whom were unknown to dietitians. In collaboration with the dietetic service an oral nutritional support flow chart was developed and tested. Thirteen of the 16 residents unknown to the dietetic team did not require ONS and could be considered for alternative dietary options. Through collaborative working with dietetic services, pharmacy technicians can support effective use and review of ONS for care home residents, reduce unnecessary prescribing, and ensure appropriate referral to dietitians where indicated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optimising Medicines in Care Homes)
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Open AccessArticle
Nutrition Education and Community Pharmacy: A First Exploration of Current Attitudes and Practices in Northern Ireland
Received: 30 November 2018 / Revised: 20 February 2019 / Accepted: 25 February 2019 / Published: 5 March 2019
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Abstract
Community pharmacist is one of the most prominent and accessible healthcare professions. The community pharmacists’ role in healthcare is evolving, with opportunities being taken to reduce pressure on primary care services. However, the question remains of how well community pharmacists are equipped for [...] Read more.
Community pharmacist is one of the most prominent and accessible healthcare professions. The community pharmacists’ role in healthcare is evolving, with opportunities being taken to reduce pressure on primary care services. However, the question remains of how well community pharmacists are equipped for this changing role. This was a sequentially designed study using a mix of methods to explore nutrition education among community pharmacists in Northern Ireland. It consisted of two phases. Phase 1 was a cross-sectional exploration to map the attitudes and practice of Northern Ireland (NI) pharmacists towards diet-related health promotion and disease prevention. An online questionnaire with open and closed questions to gain both quantitative and qualitative responses was developed and distributed to community pharmacists practising in NI. A total of 91% considered nutrition important in reducing the global burden of disease. While the majority (89%) believed patients would value nutritional advice from a pharmacist, 74% were not confident in providing advice to a patient with diabetes. From the consensus gained in Phase 1 a nutrition education intervention (Phase 2) for pre-registration pharmacists was developed using the Hardens 10 question system. The training programme was advertised to pre-registration pharmacy students in NI. It was delivered by nutrition experts who have education qualifications. The intervention was evaluated using a before and after questionnaire that assessed knowledge, attitudes, and practice (KAP). Phase 2 did find sustained improvement from the baseline in KAP but there was a decline from immediately post-training to three months post-training. This suggests the need to further embed nutrition education. The education programme was found to be effective for the target population and sets the stage for the development of an implementation strategy for a wider roll-out with evaluation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Assessing Potentially Inappropriate Medications in Nursing Home Residents by NORGEP-NH Criteria
Received: 30 January 2019 / Revised: 22 February 2019 / Accepted: 27 February 2019 / Published: 5 March 2019
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Abstract
Background: Nursing home residents often have several conditions that necessitate the use of multiple medicines. This study investigates the prevalence of potentially inappropriate medications (PIMs) and its associations with sex, age, number of medicines, and study location (rural/urban). Methods: A cross-sectional study of [...] Read more.
Background: Nursing home residents often have several conditions that necessitate the use of multiple medicines. This study investigates the prevalence of potentially inappropriate medications (PIMs) and its associations with sex, age, number of medicines, and study location (rural/urban). Methods: A cross-sectional study of long-term care residents from six nursing homes. Data was collected from medical records. We identified PIMs by applying the NORGEP-NH criteria. We conducted a Poisson regression analysis to investigate the association between the number of PIMs and sex, age, number of medicines, and study location. Results: We included 103 (18.4%) of 559 residents (68.0% women; mean age 83.2 years, mean number of daily used medicines 7.2 (SD = 3.6)). We identified PIMs in 56% of the residents (mean number = 1.10, SD = 1.26). In adjusted analyses, residents ≥80 years had 0.43 fewer PIMs compared to residents <80 years (p < 0.05). Residents using 4–6, 7–9, and 10+ medicines had on average 0.73, 1.06, and 2.11 more PIMs compared to residents using 0–3 medicines (p < 0.001), respectively. Conclusion: PIM use is prevalent among nursing home residents and is significantly associated with age and number of medicines. Our findings suggest a modest decrease in residents using PIMs compared to previous studies. Nevertheless, prescribing quality in nursing home residents in both urban and rural areas is still of great concern. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Specialist Clinicians’ Management of Dependence on Non-Prescription Medicines and Barriers to Treatment Provision: An Exploratory Mixed Methods Study Using Behavioural Theory
Received: 30 October 2018 / Revised: 15 January 2019 / Accepted: 28 February 2019 / Published: 5 March 2019
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Abstract
The aim of the study was to establish how non-prescription medicine (NPM) dependence is treated by doctors in specialist substance misuse treatment services and to identify perceived barriers to providing treatment. An online survey was conducted to establish current practice and whether changes [...] Read more.
The aim of the study was to establish how non-prescription medicine (NPM) dependence is treated by doctors in specialist substance misuse treatment services and to identify perceived barriers to providing treatment. An online survey was conducted to establish current practice and whether changes to service provision are needed to facilitate treatment (n = 83). Semi-structured interviews, based on the Theoretical Domains Framework, were conducted to derive a detailed exploration of suggested changes (n = 11). Most survey respondents had encountered cases of NPM dependence. Analgesics containing codeine were the most frequently NPMs of dependence mentioned by respondents. Most respondents were unaware of specific guidelines for the treatment of NPM dependence. The most frequently identified barriers to providing treatment identified by interviewees were limited resources or capacity and the challenges presented by this client group. There was a perception that this client group could be difficult to treat due to comorbidities, and these this client group perceived themselves to be different from people dependent on alcohol or illicit drugs. This study identified a clear need for specific clinical guidelines for the treatment of NPM dependence. Such guidance should be appropriate for specialist and generalist clinicians as the current pressure on resources may force more treatment into general practice. Appropriate care pathways need to be established and defined, and sufficient resources allocated to accommodate this client group. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Misuse and Abuse of Medicines)
Open AccessArticle
Perceptions of Pharmacy Involvement in Social Prescribing Pathways in England, Scotland and Wales
Received: 1 February 2019 / Revised: 26 February 2019 / Accepted: 28 February 2019 / Published: 4 March 2019
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Abstract
Social prescribing is increasingly viewed as a non-pharmacological option to address psychosocial consequences of social isolation, loneliness and bereavement; key contributors to poor mental health and wellbeing. Our study explored experiences and attitudes of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians to social prescribing in England, [...] Read more.
Social prescribing is increasingly viewed as a non-pharmacological option to address psychosocial consequences of social isolation, loneliness and bereavement; key contributors to poor mental health and wellbeing. Our study explored experiences and attitudes of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians to social prescribing in England, Scotland, and Wales, using an on-line survey. (Ethical approval, University of Bath, November 2017). The electronic survey was distributed to pharmacists registered with Royal Pharmaceutical Society local practice forum network groups in England, Scotland, and Wales, and pharmacy technicians via social media platforms. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics and free text by thematic analysis. One hundred and twenty respondents took part in the survey; (94.6% pharmacists and 5.4% pharmacy technicians). Responses indicated a lack of knowledge and experience with social prescribing; however, there was enthusiasm for pharmacists and the wider pharmacy team to be involved in local social prescribing pathways. Respondents believed they were well positioned within the community and consequently able to be involved in identifying individuals that may benefit. Barriers to involvement, included time, funding and training while enablers were pharmacist skills and the need within the community for social prescribing. There is a willingness in pharmacy, to be involved in social prescribing, however further research is required to enable the pharmacy team to be full participants in social prescribing pathways. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Scoping Pharmacy Students’ Learning Outcomes: Where Do We Stand?
Received: 2 February 2019 / Revised: 17 February 2019 / Accepted: 22 February 2019 / Published: 27 February 2019
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Abstract
Background: The professional abilities of graduate pharmacists have been associated with pharmacy undergraduates’ educational settings and features. This study aimed to perform a scoping review on how students’ learning outcomes are achieved, including learning assessment strategies, focusing on current pharmacy practice education. Methods: [...] Read more.
Background: The professional abilities of graduate pharmacists have been associated with pharmacy undergraduates’ educational settings and features. This study aimed to perform a scoping review on how students’ learning outcomes are achieved, including learning assessment strategies, focusing on current pharmacy practice education. Methods: Relevant keywords, e.g., “pharmacy practice”, “(students or undergraduates)” and “outcomes” were browsed in Public/Publisher MEDLINE, Scientific Electronic Library Online, Directory of Open Access Journals, and other relevant databases for recently published sources (2018 and 2017). Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses criteria were followed to assure the scoping quality. All types of students’ learning outcomes were addressed for indexed publications in English, Portuguese or Spanish. Reviews, descriptive studies and commentaries were excluded. Study data are presented in tables comprising objectives, methods, number of participants and main research findings. Results: Overall, 100 studies were identified and 22 were selected. The selected studies were distributed into seven main topics: real practices (n = 9); active-learning strategies (n = 5); comparisons between different teaching pedagogies (n = 3); pharmacy curriculum (n = 2); and other evaluations (n = 3). Conclusions: Studies on pharmacy students’ learning outcomes are limited. Pharmacy undergraduates’ performance was dependent on the learning strategies and extension of syllabus implementation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pharmacy Education; Competency and Beyond)
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Open AccessArticle
Administration, Billing, and Payment for Pharmacy Student-Based Immunizations to Medicare Beneficiaries at Mobile Medicare Clinics
Received: 30 January 2019 / Revised: 19 February 2019 / Accepted: 21 February 2019 / Published: 25 February 2019
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Abstract
Training student pharmacists to administer vaccinations requires a substantial investment in vaccines, supplies, and time. Few schools of pharmacy seek out or receive any reimbursement for the provision of vaccines, despite the fact it is a covered service. This study sought to implement, [...] Read more.
Training student pharmacists to administer vaccinations requires a substantial investment in vaccines, supplies, and time. Few schools of pharmacy seek out or receive any reimbursement for the provision of vaccines, despite the fact it is a covered service. This study sought to implement, deliver, and demonstrate an innovative, financially sustainable curriculum-based immunization program by trained pharmacy students as part of their experiential learning. Thirty-nine community health clinics targeting Medicare beneficiaries were conducted throughout Northern/Central California during Medicare’s fall open enrollment periods between 2014–2016. American Pharmacists Association (APhA)-trained student pharmacists (under licensed pharmacist supervision) administered 1777 vaccinations. Vaccines were billed via a secure Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA)-compliant web-based portal. The total net income was $11,905 and $8032 for 2015 and 2016, respectively. Return on investment was greatest for the influenza vaccine > Tdap > pneumococcal. Pharmacy students are already being trained to provide immunizations and can utilize their skills to deliver financially viable public health programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pharmacist Services)
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Open AccessArticle
Pharmacy Practice and Education in Finland
Received: 11 January 2019 / Revised: 5 February 2019 / Accepted: 15 February 2019 / Published: 23 February 2019
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Abstract
The Pharmacy Education in Europe (PHARMINE) project studies pharmacy practice and education in the European Union (EU) member states. The work was carried out using an electronic survey sent to chosen pharmacy representatives. The surveys of the individual member states are now being [...] Read more.
The Pharmacy Education in Europe (PHARMINE) project studies pharmacy practice and education in the European Union (EU) member states. The work was carried out using an electronic survey sent to chosen pharmacy representatives. The surveys of the individual member states are now being published as reference documents for students and staff interested in research on pharmacy education in the EU, and in mobility. This paper presents the results of the PHARMINE survey on pharmacy practice and education in Finland. Pharmacies have a monopoly on the dispensation of medicines. They can also provide diagnostic services. Proviisori act as pharmacy owners and managers. They follow a five-year (M.Sc. Pharm.) degree course with a six-month traineeship. Farmaseutti, who follow a three-year (B.Sc. Pharm.) degree course (also with a six-month traineeship), can dispense medicines and counsel patients in Finland. The B.Sc. and the first three years of the M.Sc. involve the same course. The current pharmacy curriculum (revised in 2014) is based on five strands: (1) pharmacy as a multidisciplinary science with numerous opportunities in the working life, (2) basics of pharmaceutical sciences, (3) patient and medication, (4) optional studies and selected study paths, and (5) drug development and use. The learning outcomes of the pharmacy graduates include (1) basics of natural sciences: chemistry, physics, technology, biosciences required for all the students (B.Sc. and M.Sc.), (2) medicine and medication: compounding of medicines, holism of medication, pharmacology and biopharmaceutics (side-effects and interactions), patient counseling, efficacy and safety of medicines and medication, (3) comprehensive and supportive interactions of the various disciplines of pharmacy education and research: the role and significance of pharmacy as a discipline in society, the necessary skills and knowledge in scientific thinking and pharmaceutical research, and (4) basics of economics and management, multidisciplinarity, hospital pharmacy, scientific writing skills, management skills. In addition, teaching and learning of “general skills”, such as the pharmacist’s professional identity and the role in society as a part of the healthcare system, critical and creative thinking, problem-solving skills, personal learning skills and life-long learning, attitude and sense of responsibility, and communication skills are developed in direct association with subject-specific courses. Professional specialization studies in industrial pharmacy, and community and hospital pharmacy are given at the post-graduate level at the University of Helsinki. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Bridging the Gap between Theory and Practice; the Active Role of Inpatient Pharmacists in Therapeutic Drug Monitoring
Received: 23 November 2018 / Revised: 12 February 2019 / Accepted: 13 February 2019 / Published: 18 February 2019
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Abstract
Many hospitals face barriers in the implementation of TDM services, this study aimed to evaluate a pharmacist-led TDM service to optimize patients’ outcomes. Adult patients who were administered vancomycin, gentamicin, or amikacin were included. The pre-phase included a retrospective assessment of patients and [...] Read more.
Many hospitals face barriers in the implementation of TDM services, this study aimed to evaluate a pharmacist-led TDM service to optimize patients’ outcomes. Adult patients who were administered vancomycin, gentamicin, or amikacin were included. The pre-phase included a retrospective assessment of patients and the intervention phase consisted of an educational program. The post-phase assessed patients based on TDM services provided by inpatient pharmacists on a 24-h, 7-day basis for 3 months. The primary outcome was to assess the mean difference in proportion of correct initial doses of prescribing orders. Secondary outcomes included assessing the mean differences in proportions of correct dose adjustments and correct drug sampling time. Seventy-five patients in each phase were eligible. Patients who received optimal initial dosing in the post-phase showed a higher statistical significance, mean difference of 0.31, [95% CI (0.181–0.4438), p < 0.0001]. Patients in the post-phase received more optimal dose adjustments, mean difference of 0.1, [95% CI (−0.560–0.260), p = 0.2113]. Drug levels were ordered more correctly in the post-phase, mean difference of 0.03, [95% CI (−0.129–0.189), p = 0.7110]. This study demonstrated the important role of TDM services led by pharmacists in optimizing the initial dosing for these antibiotics. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
General Public Views, Attitudes, and Experiences toward Drug Safety in Dubai, United Arab Emirates: A Qualitative Approach
Received: 30 November 2018 / Revised: 21 January 2019 / Accepted: 30 January 2019 / Published: 7 February 2019
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Abstract
Ensuring drug safety among the patients is the main domain of pharmacovigilance activities worldwide. A pharmacovigilance system was established in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in 2008. Research evidence reflects that the current system is lacking in active participation from patients, and also, [...] Read more.
Ensuring drug safety among the patients is the main domain of pharmacovigilance activities worldwide. A pharmacovigilance system was established in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in 2008. Research evidence reflects that the current system is lacking in active participation from patients, and also, the inadequate role of healthcare professionals is anticipated. In this context, it is pertinent to know the general public’s understandings and their patterns of safe use of medication, which are unexplored areas in Dubai, UAE. The current study aimed to explore the public views, attitudes, and experiences toward medication safety, and to explore key factors enhancing the safe use of medications among the public in Dubai. This study adopted a qualitative approach and face-to-face, 14 in-depth interviews with public individuals, selected purposively using the snowball sampling technique. The interviews were conducted in different places in Dubai recorded and transcribed verbatim and thematically analyzed for data analysis. Reporting of adverse drug reaction was not well-known among all the participants. Public views towards safe use of medicines were limited to the side effects of the consumed medicines only, and to a lesser extent to the inappropriate indication and dosage. Most of the participants mentioned that gaining knowledge about the side effects of the prescribed drug was the main reason for reading the patient information leaflet. Quite a few participants have experienced side effects while consuming their medicines and they were unsure of how to deal with the situation. The current research also reflected the lack of proper communication between pharmacists and physicians in managing drug safety issues. Conclusively, the current research revealed gaps in public views regarding medication’s safety, which consequently may impact their attitudes during the course of medication use. Efforts need to be strengthened to enhance positive views and attitudes of the public towards medication safety and ADR reporting in the UAE. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Complexity of Medicine Regimens and Patient Perception of Medicine Burden
Received: 2 January 2019 / Revised: 23 January 2019 / Accepted: 30 January 2019 / Published: 2 February 2019
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Abstract
From the patient perspective, medicine burden is more than the number of medicines, or the complexity of medicine regimens they need to manage. Relationships between the number of medicines, regimen complexity and patient perception of medicine burden are under-researched. This cross-sectional study measured [...] Read more.
From the patient perspective, medicine burden is more than the number of medicines, or the complexity of medicine regimens they need to manage. Relationships between the number of medicines, regimen complexity and patient perception of medicine burden are under-researched. This cross-sectional study measured regimen complexity and determined how this and patient perceived burden are affected by the therapeutic group. Regimen complexity was measured in patients presenting prescriptions to six community pharmacies in South-East England. A sub-sample (166) also completed the Living with Medicines Questionnaire which measures patient perceived burden. The 492 patients were prescribed 2700 medicines (range 1 to 23). Almost half used at least one non-oral formulation. Complexity was correlated strongly with the number of medicines (r = 0.94), number of therapeutic groups (r = 0.84) and number of formulations (r = 0.73). Patients using medicines for skin, eye and respiratory conditions had the highest complexity scores. Increasing the number of medicines, frequency of dosing, number of non-oral formulations and number of different therapeutic groups all increased medicine burden. Although cardiovascular medicines were the most common medicines used by the majority of patients (60%), those for neurological, psychiatric and gastro-intestinal conditions were most strongly associated with high burden. Studies are required to determine medicine burden in different conditions, especially neurological conditions, including chronic pain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Burden of Medicines)
Open AccessArticle
Consultant Pharmacist–Provider Collaboration in U.S. Assisted Living Facilities: A Pilot Study
Received: 28 December 2018 / Revised: 21 January 2019 / Accepted: 31 January 2019 / Published: 1 February 2019
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Abstract
The purpose of this pilot study was to explore the impact of pharmacist-provided recommendations to general practitioners (GPs) of patients living in assisted living facilities (ALFs). A secondary objective of this study was to explore prescriber and ALF staff perceptions. This was a [...] Read more.
The purpose of this pilot study was to explore the impact of pharmacist-provided recommendations to general practitioners (GPs) of patients living in assisted living facilities (ALFs). A secondary objective of this study was to explore prescriber and ALF staff perceptions. This was a mixed-method, quasi experimental 1-group pre/post-test study with an explanatory qualitative arm using in-depth semi-structured interviews at five regional ALFs and one independent community pharmacy in East Tennessee. Residents older than 65 years of age, with confirmed diagnosis of Type II diabetes in the pharmacy’s medical record, taking anti-diabetic medication for at least 14 days and resident of affiliated ALF for at least past 30 days were enrolled. Phase 1 demonstrated a 35.1% (13/37 recommendations) acceptance rate of pharmacist recommendations. Phase 2 demonstrated a similar 31.3% acceptance rate of pharmacist recommendations (5/16 recommendations). The mean pre–post difference in average 30-day FBG was greater in the accepted group than the rejected recommendation group (−9.1 vs. −2.3 mg/dL). Pharmacist–GP collaboration in the ALF population was feasible and may improve the quality of patient care of these residents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pharmacist–Physician Collaborative Research)
Open AccessArticle
Assessment of Insulin-related Knowledge among Healthcare Professionals in a Large Teaching Hospital in the United Kingdom
Received: 11 January 2019 / Revised: 25 January 2019 / Accepted: 29 January 2019 / Published: 30 January 2019
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Abstract
Despite numerous strategies introduced to promote the safe use of insulin, insulin-related medication errors persist. Our aim was to examine the knowledge and self-reported confidence of a range of healthcare professionals regarding insulin use in a large teaching hospital in the North of [...] Read more.
Despite numerous strategies introduced to promote the safe use of insulin, insulin-related medication errors persist. Our aim was to examine the knowledge and self-reported confidence of a range of healthcare professionals regarding insulin use in a large teaching hospital in the North of England. A 16-item electronic questionnaire was prepared in light of locally reported insulin-related incidents and distributed electronically to all healthcare professionals at the hospital over a 4-week study period. A range of healthcare professionals, including nurses, pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, junior doctors and consultants, completed the questionnaires (n = 109). Pharmacists achieved the greatest percentage of mean correct answers overall (49%), followed by consultant doctors (38%) and pharmacy technicians (37%), junior doctors (34%) and nurses (32%). Healthcare professionals were mainly “slightly confident” in their knowledge and use of insulin. Confidence level positively correlated to performance, but number of years’ experience did not result in higher confidence or performance. This small-scale study allowed for a broad assessment of insulin-related topics that have been identified both nationally and locally as particularly problematic. Identifying knowledge gaps may help tailor strategies to help improve insulin knowledge and patient safety. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Current Clinical Practice for the Use of Hypnotics to Manage Primary Insomnia in Adults in a Tertiary Hospital in Saudi Arabia: An Audit Study
Received: 8 December 2018 / Revised: 16 January 2019 / Accepted: 22 January 2019 / Published: 26 January 2019
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Abstract
Despite the risks associated with hypnotics and their recent increased use in Saudi Arabia, there are no specific national guidelines for using these medicines to treat insomnia nor are there any data on how these medicines are currently prescribed. There is the potential, [...] Read more.
Despite the risks associated with hypnotics and their recent increased use in Saudi Arabia, there are no specific national guidelines for using these medicines to treat insomnia nor are there any data on how these medicines are currently prescribed. There is the potential, however, that some physicians might be adhering to the United States guidelines. The current audit study was aimed to assess the current practice in treating insomnia with hypnotics in Saudi Arabia, and to evaluate its agreement with the US guidelines. The audit was conducted using data collected between April 2012 and March 2017 at King Fahad Central Hospital (KFCH; Jazan), of patients who were either prescribed benzodiazepines (BZDs) or Z-drugs or diagnosed with insomnia. The audit criteria followed two US guidelines for the management of insomnia in adults. Data included documented diagnosis, use of CBT-I (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia), use of BZDs and Z-drugs including treatment regimen, and whether physicians prescribed anti-histamines for insomnia. The data were analyzed using STATA 14 after transcription to a MS XL file. Of the 504 records reviewed, 379 patients (75%) were prescribed BZDs or Z-drugs; only 182 (48%) of them had clearly documented indications for their use. Three hundred and seven patients (60%) were diagnosed with insomnia; none of them received CBT-I as initial treatment. No patients on long-term use of hypnotics were reviewed by their physicians after they began using the medication. More than 43% of patients were prescribed anti-histamines for insomnia. No records met all (or even six) of the seven criteria. KFCH physicians do not follow US guidelines. Therefore, the Ministry of Health (MOH) should improve its administrative systems including documentation, and instead of using international guidelines that are seldom followed, physicians should be trained in prescribing hypnotics and national guidelines need to be developed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Polypharmacy and Psychological Distress May Be Associated in African American Adults
Received: 21 December 2018 / Revised: 21 January 2019 / Accepted: 22 January 2019 / Published: 24 January 2019
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Abstract
Background: Compared to Whites, African Americans are at a higher risk of multiple chronic conditions, which places them at a higher risk of polypharmacy. Few national studies, however, have tested whether polypharmacy is associated with psychological distress—the net of socioeconomic status, health status, [...] Read more.
Background: Compared to Whites, African Americans are at a higher risk of multiple chronic conditions, which places them at a higher risk of polypharmacy. Few national studies, however, have tested whether polypharmacy is associated with psychological distress—the net of socioeconomic status, health status, and stress—in African Americans. Aims: In a national sample of African Americans in the US, this study investigated the association between polypharmacy and psychological distress. Methods: The National Survey of American Life (NSAL, 2003) included 3570 African American adults who were 18 years or over. This number was composed of 2299 women and 1271 men. Polypharmacy (using ≥ 5 medications) and hyper-polypharmacy (using ≥ 10 medications) were the independent variables. Psychological distress was the dependent variable. Age, gender, socioeconomic status (education attainment, income, employment, and marital status), health care access (insurance status and usual place of care), and health status (multimorbidity and psychiatric disorders) were the covariates. Linear multivariable regression was applied to perform the data analysis. Results: Both polypharmacy and hyper-polypharmacy were associated with psychological distress. This association was significant after controlling for all the covariates. Conclusions: African Americans with polypharmacy, particularly those with hyper-polypharmacy, are experiencing higher levels of psychological distress, which itself is a known risk factor for poor adherence to medications. There is a need for a comprehensive evaluation of medications as well as screening for psychopathology in African Americans with multiple medical conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Burden of Medicines)
Open AccessArticle
Effects of Cross-Training on Medical Teams’ Teamwork and Collaboration: Use of Simulation
Received: 29 November 2018 / Revised: 8 January 2019 / Accepted: 13 January 2019 / Published: 19 January 2019
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Abstract
Previous research in the US Navy demonstrated that cross-training enhances teamwork and interpersonal collaboration. Limited data exists on cross-training effectiveness in medical education. This research aimed to assess whether cross-training would have similar effects on medical teams. A multidisciplinary pair of resident participants—consisting [...] Read more.
Previous research in the US Navy demonstrated that cross-training enhances teamwork and interpersonal collaboration. Limited data exists on cross-training effectiveness in medical education. This research aimed to assess whether cross-training would have similar effects on medical teams. A multidisciplinary pair of resident participants—consisting of one physician and one pharmacist—was randomly assigned to cross-training or current training condition. The training experience involved one video-based content module (training a pharmacist’s task of pharmacokinetic dosing and a physician’s task of intubation) and one simulation-based practice scenario (collaborative treatment of an unstable critically ill simulated patient). Interprofessional pairs randomized to cross-training condition participated in both the content module and practice scenario in the alternative professional role whereas pairs randomized to current training condition participated in their own professional role. Pairs also participated in pre- and post- training assessment scenarios in their own professional role. Teamwork and interprofessionalism were measured immediately following assessment scenarios. Knowledge assessments were conducted at the start and end of the scenario sequence. Multidisciplinary pairs experiencing cross-training showed a significant improvement in teamwork (increased by 6.11% vs. 3.24%, p < 0.05). All participants demonstrated significant improvement in knowledge scores (increase of 14% cross-training, p < 0.05, and increase of 13.9% control, p < 0.05). Our project suggests that cross-training can improve teamwork in interprofessional medical teams. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Simulation in Pharmacy Education and Beyond)
Open AccessArticle
Hypersensitivity Reactions in Serious Adverse Events Reported for Paracetamol in the EudraVigilance Database, 2007–2018
Received: 29 November 2018 / Revised: 29 December 2018 / Accepted: 12 January 2019 / Published: 17 January 2019
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Abstract
Paracetamol is a popular and easily available drug which is used world-wide as analgesic, antipyretic agent. Hypersensitivity reactions to this drug involve a wide range of symptoms of various importance for patient management. The EudraVigilance (EV) database serves as a system for monitoring [...] Read more.
Paracetamol is a popular and easily available drug which is used world-wide as analgesic, antipyretic agent. Hypersensitivity reactions to this drug involve a wide range of symptoms of various importance for patient management. The EudraVigilance (EV) database serves as a system for monitoring adverse events (AE) due to drug intake. We retrospectively recorded AE reports for “paracetamol” reported from 1 January 2007 to 1 October 2018 which fulfilled the category of “serious” in EV. For further analysis the retrieved AE reports were selected according to the keywords corresponding to hypersensitivity symptoms. We included in the study 4589 AE reports with 9489 particular AEs. 24.2% of all the AE reports concerned children. The most often reported symptoms were “angioedema,” “rash” and “urticaria” (each of them with a frequency of >10% in the AE reports). An important group of AEs were oedema reported as being located in the head, neck or respiratory tract. We recorded 58 AE reports with fatal outcomes, including 9 Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis cases (SJS/TEN), 10 anaphylactic reactions, 21 cases of hepatic failure and a further 18 cases which occurred for other reasons. SJS/TEN, acute generalized exanthematous pustulosis and drug reaction with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms were reported 129, 42 and 25 times, respectively. Prodromes and symptoms of potentially life-threating SJS/TEN appeared in 286 of the AE reports. 380 AE reports pointed to a diagnosis of anaphylaxis. To improve patient safety, healthcare professionals, including pharmacists, can identify warning signs of severe hypersensitivity reactions to paracetamol. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Readiness of Pharmacists Based in Utah About Pain Management and Opioid Dispensing
Received: 7 November 2018 / Revised: 8 January 2019 / Accepted: 9 January 2019 / Published: 15 January 2019
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Abstract
Prescription opioid use disorder is a growing epidemic and pharmacists as the dispensers of prescription drugs can play a crucial role in the management of the opioid crisis. However, few studies have examined pharmacists’ perceptions of their role in it. The objective of [...] Read more.
Prescription opioid use disorder is a growing epidemic and pharmacists as the dispensers of prescription drugs can play a crucial role in the management of the opioid crisis. However, few studies have examined pharmacists’ perceptions of their role in it. The objective of this study was to evaluate the perceptions of pharmacists in Utah regarding their role in the opioid epidemic. The study utilized a cross sectional online survey design to understand the pharmacist knowledge and beliefs regarding pain management, opioids, naloxone, and the various opioid risk identification tools. Frequencies, t-tests, and chi-squared were used to describe and analyze the data. A total of 239 surveys were qualified for analysis. Analysis showed that pharmacists have positive attitudes towards opioid crisis management; however, this positive attitude was higher among newer pharmacists. Though the pharmacists were knowledgeable with the opioid pharmacotherapy and prescribing guidelines, they demonstrated education needs for hands-on training when faced with a situation of prescription opioid use disorder in their practice. The use of risk identification tools was not prevalent. Results show lack of active participation by pharmacists in this major public health challenge, and the need for education in several aspects of opioid dispensing, naloxone use, and efficient use of risk identification tools. Full article
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Open AccessReview
The Use of Dietary Interventions in Pediatric Patients
Received: 6 November 2018 / Revised: 8 January 2019 / Accepted: 8 January 2019 / Published: 15 January 2019
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Abstract
Complementary and alternative treatment approaches are becoming more common among children with chronic conditions. The prevalence of CAM use among US adults was estimated to be around 42% in 2015 and around 44% to 50% among adults with neurologic disorders. Studies demonstrate that [...] Read more.
Complementary and alternative treatment approaches are becoming more common among children with chronic conditions. The prevalence of CAM use among US adults was estimated to be around 42% in 2015 and around 44% to 50% among adults with neurologic disorders. Studies demonstrate that children with certain chronic illnesses such as asthma, cancer, genetic disorders, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and other neurodevelopmental disorders are treated with complementary and alternative treatments at higher rates. Dietary therapies are gaining increasing popularity in the mainstream population. Although the majority of “fad” diets do not have enough supporting evidence, some dietary therapies have been utilized for decades and have numerous published studies. The objective of this review is to describe the dietary interventions used in children with the specific chronic conditions, to evaluate their efficacy based on published data and to encourage pharmacist involvement in the management and care of such patients. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial
Rare and Imported Infections: Are We Prepared?
Received: 6 January 2019 / Revised: 10 January 2019 / Accepted: 10 January 2019 / Published: 13 January 2019
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Abstract
The world’s population is rapidly expanding [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rare and Imported Paediatric Infections)
Open AccessEditorial
Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Pharmacy in 2018
Published: 11 January 2019
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Abstract
Rigorous peer-review is the corner-stone of high-quality academic publishing [...] Full article
Open AccessArticle
Health Information Technology Use and Patient Safety: Study of Pharmacists in Nebraska
Received: 28 November 2018 / Revised: 5 January 2019 / Accepted: 7 January 2019 / Published: 10 January 2019
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Abstract
This study aimed to describe the impact of 13 different health information technologies (HITs) on patient safety across pharmacy practice settings from the viewpoint of the working pharmacist. A cross-sectional mixed methods survey of all licensed practicing pharmacists in 2008 in Nebraska ( [...] Read more.
This study aimed to describe the impact of 13 different health information technologies (HITs) on patient safety across pharmacy practice settings from the viewpoint of the working pharmacist. A cross-sectional mixed methods survey of all licensed practicing pharmacists in 2008 in Nebraska (n = 2195) was developed, pilot-tested and IRB approved. One-fourth responded (24.4%). A database of pharmacists’ responses to closed-ended quantitative questions and in vivo qualitative responses to open-ended questions was built. Qualitative data was coded and thematically analyzed, transformed to quantitative data and descriptive and relational statistics performed. One-third were involved in an error of any kind in the six months preceding the survey, and half observed an error or “near miss”. Most errors or near misses were attributed to workload. When asked specifically about the 13 HITs, these participants reported 3252 observations about the types of errors that were associated with each. These were reports about either error types reduced or eliminated by integration of HIT (n = 1908) or occurring in association with a specific technology’s use (n = 1344). Integration of HIT into pharmacy practice also introduced new error types such as excessive alert programming in the pharmacy computer systems clinical information support causing pharmacists to experience alert fatigue and ignore warnings or bar code scanners mismatching NDC codes of products resulting in wrong drug product identification. Continued vigilance is essential to identifying patient safety issues and implementing safety strategies specific to each HIT. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of Prescription Adaptation Following Changes to A Provincial Drug Insurance Formulary
Received: 7 December 2018 / Revised: 24 December 2018 / Accepted: 3 January 2019 / Published: 7 January 2019
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Abstract
On 1 December 2016, British Columbia’s (BC) provincial drug insurance program changed which medications in certain classes would benefit under the insurance program in an attempt to reduce expenditure. As part of the modernization, HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (Statins), Angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEI), [...] Read more.
On 1 December 2016, British Columbia’s (BC) provincial drug insurance program changed which medications in certain classes would benefit under the insurance program in an attempt to reduce expenditure. As part of the modernization, HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (Statins), Angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEI), angiotensin receptor blockers (ARB), and dihydropyridine calcium channel blockers (CCB) were affected. Prescribers and pharmacists had six months to discuss the changes with patients, and change medications if deemed necessary. Purpose: To quantify the changes made to prescriptions and to adjust to the Modernized Reference Drug Program. Methods: A retrospective chart review was conducted at two clinics in Prince George, BC. Charts for patients that were prescribed any drugs in the affected classes were reviewed to determine if, and when, they had been changed, and by which health care professional. In December 2016, a clinical pharmacist, integrated within the study clinics, informed prescribers of the changes, and made patient-specific clinical notes within the charts. The notes described the changes and recommended alternative agents and appropriate dosing in order to assist the prescriber to have a conversation with the patient regarding the switch. Results: Out of 429 unique patients, 233 patients were prescribed a Statin, 229 patients an ACEI, 110 an ARB and, 83 a CCB. Sixty-five drug changes were indicated to reflect the modernization, and with guidance from a clinical pharmacist, nurse practitioners (NPs), and family physicians (FPs), 65% of these identified drugs were switched to reflect the modernization. Community pharmacists made no drug changes in the study sample, despite the prescriptive authority and compensation available to do so. Province-wide, approximately 21% to 33% of affected drugs were switched during the same time-frame. Direct collaboration between a clinical pharmacist, working alongside NPs and FPs, was more successful in optimizing these medications when compared to standard practice, or community pharmacists alone. Full article
Open AccessReview
Pharmacy-Based Travel Health Services in the United States
Received: 30 October 2018 / Revised: 9 December 2018 / Accepted: 17 December 2018 / Published: 27 December 2018
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Abstract
The aim of this paper is to review pharmacy laws and regulations, pharmacist training, clinic considerations, and patient care outcomes regarding pharmacy-based travel health services in the United States. Pharmacists and pharmacies in the United States are highly visible and accessible to the [...] Read more.
The aim of this paper is to review pharmacy laws and regulations, pharmacist training, clinic considerations, and patient care outcomes regarding pharmacy-based travel health services in the United States. Pharmacists and pharmacies in the United States are highly visible and accessible to the public, and have long been regarded as a source for immunization services. As international travel continues to increase and grow in popularity in this country, there is a pressing need for expanded access to preventative health services, including routine and travel vaccinations, as well as medications for prophylaxis or self-treatment of conditions that may be acquired overseas. In the United States, the scope of pharmacy practice continues to expand and incorporate these preventable health services to varying degrees on a state-by-state level. A literature review was undertaken to identify published articles on pharmacist- or pharmacy-based travel health services or care in the United States. The results of this paper show that pharmacists can help to increase access to and awareness of the need for these services to ensure that patients remain healthy while traveling abroad, and that they do not acquire a travel-related disease while on their trip. For those pharmacists interested in starting a travel health service, considerations should be made to ensure that they have the necessary training, education, and skill set in order to provide this specialty level of care, and that their practice setting is optimally designed to facilitate the service. While there is little published work available on pharmacy or pharmacist-provided travel health services in the United States, outcomes from published studies are positive, which further supports the role of the pharmacist in this setting. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Travel Medicine - Series Ⅰ) Printed Edition available
Open AccessArticle
Pharmacy Practice and Education in Slovenia
Received: 25 September 2018 / Revised: 18 November 2018 / Accepted: 17 December 2018 / Published: 24 December 2018
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Abstract
The PHARMINE (“Pharmacy Education in Europe”) project studied pharmacy practice and education in the European Union (EU) member states. The work was carried out using an electronic survey sent to chosen pharmacy representatives. The surveys of the individual member states are [...] Read more.
The PHARMINE (“Pharmacy Education in Europe”) project studied pharmacy practice and education in the European Union (EU) member states. The work was carried out using an electronic survey sent to chosen pharmacy representatives. The surveys of the individual member states are now being published as reference documents. This paper presents the results of the PHARMINE survey on pharmacy practice and education in Slovenia. In the light of this, we examine the harmonisation of practice and education in Slovenia with EU norms. Full article
Open AccessReview
Risk of Transverse Myelitis Following Dengue Infection: A Systematic Review of the Literature
Received: 17 November 2018 / Revised: 10 December 2018 / Accepted: 19 December 2018 / Published: 23 December 2018
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Abstract
Introduction: Dengue virus (DENV) is one of the most common arbovirus diseases, with a wide spectrum of presentation. Spinal cord involvement in dengue infection (DF) is rare. However, the risk of transverse myelitis (TM) following Dengue has not been systematically assessed. Methods [...] Read more.
Introduction: Dengue virus (DENV) is one of the most common arbovirus diseases, with a wide spectrum of presentation. Spinal cord involvement in dengue infection (DF) is rare. However, the risk of transverse myelitis (TM) following Dengue has not been systematically assessed. Methods: We undertook a systematic review of published English literature from January 1974 to December 2017 to assess risk of TM and outcomes following DF. Data sources included EMBASE, MEDLINE, Cochrane library, ISI web of knowledge, conference proceedings and references within identified articles. Results: We identified 242 potential studies, 62 were duplicates. A further 136 were excluded on the basis of title and abstract and 19 studies did not meet the eligibility criteria on full text screening. We included 25 publications involving 2672 cases of DF. A small proportion (10.8%, (289/2672)) had neurological complications, of which 2.3% (61/2672) was TM. For articles reporting epidemiological data, the neurological complication was twice in males compared to female 67.7% (130/192) vs. 32.7% (62/192) and 1.5-fold increase TM for males 59.3% (32/54) vs 40.7% (22/54). The mean age at presentation was 33.1years (range 0.75–61), with onset at 11.7days. The method of diagnosing TM due to DF was mainly IgM seropositivity 92% (n = 23/25) and the commonest treatment modality was steroid 78.3% (n = 18/23). Only half had full recovery 50.8% (n = 31/61). There was no mortality following dengue, however, the crude case fatality rate following TM was 3.3% (n = 2/61). Conclusion: This review highlights the risk of TM following dengue. Although neurological complications are rare, especially TM, once set in, it is associated with a significant morbidity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rare and Imported Paediatric Infections)
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