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Pharmacy, Volume 8, Issue 1 (March 2020) – 48 articles

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Pharmacists play a crucial role in dosing and monitoring of medications eliminated by or toxic to [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle
Pharmacy Technicians’ Contribution to Counselling at Community Pharmacies in Denmark
Pharmacy 2020, 8(1), 48; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy8010048 - 23 Mar 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 494
Abstract
(1) Background: pharmacy technicians are the largest group of staff at Danish community pharmacies and play a vital role in counselling customers on prescription medication, over-the-counter (OTC) medication and non-medical products. This is the first study carried out to specifically analyse how they [...] Read more.
(1) Background: pharmacy technicians are the largest group of staff at Danish community pharmacies and play a vital role in counselling customers on prescription medication, over-the-counter (OTC) medication and non-medical products. This is the first study carried out to specifically analyse how they contribute to counselling and identification of drug-related problems (DRPs) at Danish community pharmacies. (2) Methods: seventy-six pharmacy technicians from 38 community pharmacies registered data on all of their customer visits for five days, over a four-week period, between January and March 2019. Data were analysed in SPSS version 24. (3) Results: 58.9% of all registered customers (n = 10,417) received counselling. They identified DRPs for 15.8% of all registered customers (n = 2800). Counselling by pharmacy technicians solved, or partially solved, problems for 70.4% of customers with DRPs. Pharmacy technicians estimated that 25.2% of customers receiving counselling (n = 2621) were saved a visit to the general practitioner (GP). (4) Conclusions: as community pharmacists get more involved in complex services, it would be necessary to expand the roles of pharmacy technicians. Pharmacy technicians contribute to medication safety via counselling, and identifying and handling DRPs for all customers. This study documents the role of pharmacy technicians in customer counselling at Danish community pharmacies. It provides evidence to researchers and policy makers to support discussions on the future role of pharmacy technicians at community pharmacies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pharmacy Workforce Support Personnel)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Enhancing Clinical Pharmacy Specialist Involvement in Transitions of Care Focusing on Ambulatory Care Sensitive Conditions within a Veterans Affairs Healthcare System
Pharmacy 2020, 8(1), 47; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy8010047 - 22 Mar 2020
Viewed by 422
Abstract
The purpose of this quality improvement project was to evaluate the impact of clinical pharmacy specialist (CPS) involvement in the post-discharge period on 30-day readmission rates within a Veterans Affairs Healthcare System. Patients eligible for inclusion were discharged from a Veterans Affairs (VA) [...] Read more.
The purpose of this quality improvement project was to evaluate the impact of clinical pharmacy specialist (CPS) involvement in the post-discharge period on 30-day readmission rates within a Veterans Affairs Healthcare System. Patients eligible for inclusion were discharged from a Veterans Affairs (VA) acute care facility with a principle or secondary diagnosis of heart failure (HF), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or both HF and COPD from 15 October 2018 through 14 January 2019. CPSs functioning as a mid-level provider with a scope of practice conducted telephone and in-clinic medication management appointments within 7 and 21 days post-discharge for qualifying patients discharged with a principle or secondary diagnosis of HF or COPD. CPS appointments focused on medication reconciliation, ensuring continuity of care, disease state counseling, and medication management. By enhancing the role of the CPS in the post-discharge period, there was an observed decrease in 30-day COPD index (p = 0.35), HF index (p = 0.23), and all-cause (p = 0.62) readmission rates from pre- to post-intervention. The results of this intervention show that CPS intervention in the post-discharge period may reduce index and all-cause readmission rates for patients discharged with a principle or secondary discharge diagnosis of COPD or HF. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medication Management in Care Transitions)
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of a Pharmacist Led Oral Chemotherapy Clinic: A Pilot Program in the Gastrointestinal Oncology Clinic at an Academic Medical Center
Pharmacy 2020, 8(1), 46; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy8010046 - 20 Mar 2020
Viewed by 355
Abstract
Oral chemotherapy represents a major patient-centric advancement in therapy convenience. However, ownership of safe and correct administration of these agents requires significant patient education. To address this challenge, an in-person pharmacist-led oral chemotherapy education clinic in gastrointestinal oncology patients within an academic medical [...] Read more.
Oral chemotherapy represents a major patient-centric advancement in therapy convenience. However, ownership of safe and correct administration of these agents requires significant patient education. To address this challenge, an in-person pharmacist-led oral chemotherapy education clinic in gastrointestinal oncology patients within an academic medical center was created and assessed. In this pilot program, a medication-specific quiz was administered to patients before and after education performed by a pharmacist to assess patient understanding of their new oral chemotherapy. A five-question satisfaction survey was also administered at the conclusion of the pharmacist clinic visit. Primary outcome was the percentage difference between pre-and post-education quiz scores. Secondary outcomes included patient satisfaction, time to treatment initiation, and number of pharmacist interventions. Frequencies and medians were used to describe categorical and continuous variables, respectively. Of the 18 patients analyzed, 50% were male and median age was 59.5 years. Approximately 28% had colon cancer, and 61% were treated with capecitabine. The median post-education scores improved from a pre-education score of 75% to 100%. Overall, seventeen of the eighteen patients responded with “strongly agree” to all satisfaction survey statements. An in-person oncology pharmacist-led oral chemotherapy education session demonstrated an improvement in patients’ understanding of their new oral chemotherapy treatment. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Substandard and Falsified Medicines in Myanmar
Pharmacy 2020, 8(1), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy8010045 - 19 Mar 2020
Viewed by 327
Abstract
Background: substandard and falsified medicines (SFMs) are a threat to public health. The availability of SFMs in Myanmar was reported by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1999, but there have been few systematic surveys on falsified medicines in Myanmar since then. The [...] Read more.
Background: substandard and falsified medicines (SFMs) are a threat to public health. The availability of SFMs in Myanmar was reported by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1999, but there have been few systematic surveys on falsified medicines in Myanmar since then. The aim of this study is to examine the extent of SFMs for sale in Myanmar. Methods: target medicines were tablets of candesartan, metformin, and pioglitazone, and infusions of ciprofloxacin and levofloxacin. Samples were collected from hospitals, pharmacies, and wholesalers located in the Mandalay region in 2015. We carried out observation testing, authenticity investigation, and quality testing to search for SFMs, and analyzed the relationship between SFMs and the price and store type. Results: There were no falsified medicines found in the authenticity check, though there remained a problem due to low response rates from manufacturers and regulatory authorities. In the quality test, some tablets of metformin and pioglitazone made in India failed the dissolution test. Conclusions: although no serious problems were found, some substandard medicines were detected. Regular surveys to monitor SFMs are therefore recommended, together with further regulatory guidance to improve conditions in all medicine manufacturers, distributors, and pharmacies. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Improving Management of Respiratory Tract Infections in Community Pharmacies and Promoting Antimicrobial Stewardship: A Cluster Randomised Control Trial with a Self-Report Behavioural Questionnaire and Process Evaluation
Pharmacy 2020, 8(1), 44; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy8010044 - 19 Mar 2020
Viewed by 338
Abstract
In England, 81% of all antibiotic prescriptions originate in primary care/community settings, of which up to 20% are thought to be inappropriate. Community pharmacies are often the first point of community contact for patients with suspected infections; providing an opportunity for community pharmacy [...] Read more.
In England, 81% of all antibiotic prescriptions originate in primary care/community settings, of which up to 20% are thought to be inappropriate. Community pharmacies are often the first point of community contact for patients with suspected infections; providing an opportunity for community pharmacy teams to promote antimicrobial stewardship (AMS). The objective of the study was to improve the management of infections and antimicrobial stewardship in community pharmacies. The study methodology included a non-blinded cluster randomised control trial with pharmacy staff in 272 community pharmacies in England. The intervention arm received an AMS webinar and a patient facing respiratory tract infection (RTI) leaflet (TARGET TYI-RTI) for use in everyday practice for four weeks. The control arm received a webinar on how to participate in the study. The primary outcome was self-reported referrals to general practitioners (GPs). The secondary outcomes were; provision of self-care advice/ written information to patients, referrals to pharmacists, sign-posting to non-prescription medicines and common barriers and facilitators to advice-giving in community pharmacies. Ethics approval was granted by the Public Health England Research Ethics and Governance Group. 66.91% (182 of 272) of pharmacies provided 3649 patient consultation data reports across both arms. Use of the leaflet was associated with a lower likelihood of referrals to GPs for certain RTIs (p < 0.05) and a more frequent provision of self-care advice than the control (p = 0.06). Opportunities to deliver self-care advice were limited due to lack of time. Pharmacy staff had good motivation and capability for managing self-limiting infections but the opportunity to do so was a perceived barrier. Use of the TARGET leaflet facilitated pharmacy staff to give more self-care advice and decreased referrals to GPs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Community Pharmacy Minor Ailment Services)
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Open AccessArticle
Oncology Pharmacists Can Reduce the Projected Shortfall in Cancer Patient Visits: Projections for Years 2020 to 2025
Pharmacy 2020, 8(1), 43; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy8010043 - 18 Mar 2020
Viewed by 356
Abstract
Based on the projected need for a larger oncology care workforce, we estimated the patient care visits and care activities that Board Certified oncology pharmacists (BCOPs) could contribute to oncology care from 2020–2025. Using projected counts for BCOPs through 2025, we estimated that [...] Read more.
Based on the projected need for a larger oncology care workforce, we estimated the patient care visits and care activities that Board Certified oncology pharmacists (BCOPs) could contribute to oncology care from 2020–2025. Using projected counts for BCOPs through 2025, we estimated that 2.9–4.1 million 30-min BCOP patient visits were possible at 50% workforce capacity. BCOPs’ clinical activities overlapped strongly with those of nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs) in patient education and treatment management. BCOPs could help reduce provider stress and burnout concerns by spreading these activities across a broader set of providers. BCOPs were more active than NPs and PAs in clinical trials research. Recent advances in immunotherapy, pharmacogenetics, pharmacogenomics, and oral oncolytic agents make the medication-focused training of OPs particularly useful to care teams. Comparison also showed that BCOPs were less active in providing follow-up visits and prescribing. Fulfilling the projected BCOP numbers through 2025 will require continued growth in Postgraduate Year 2 (PGY2) oncology pharmacy resident programs and on-the-job training programs. Our review of the trends in cancer incidence, mortality, and survivorship suggest a sustained need for the activities of BCOPs and other oncology care providers. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Wage Premiums as a Means to Evaluate the Labor Market for Pharmacy Technicians in the United States: 1997–2018
Pharmacy 2020, 8(1), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy8010042 - 17 Mar 2020
Viewed by 439
Abstract
Pharmacy technicians are integral members of the health care team, assisting pharmacists and other health professionals in assuring safe and effective medication use. To date, evaluation of the labor market for pharmacy technicians has been limited, and relatively little has been evaluated regarding [...] Read more.
Pharmacy technicians are integral members of the health care team, assisting pharmacists and other health professionals in assuring safe and effective medication use. To date, evaluation of the labor market for pharmacy technicians has been limited, and relatively little has been evaluated regarding trends in wages. The objective of this research is to use US Bureau of Labor Statistics (US BLS) data to evaluate changes in pharmacy technician wages in the United States from 1997 to 2018 relative to changes in the US consumer price index (CPI). Median hourly wages for pharmacy technicians were collected from US BLS data from 1997 to 2018. Median hourly wages were compared to expected hourly wages, with the difference, a wage premium, indicative of imbalances in the supply and demand of labor. Both positive and negative wage premiums were observed, with most positive wage premiums occurring prior to 2007 and most negative wage premiums observed after 2008. Differences in wage premiums were also observed between technicians working in various practice settings. Given the median length of employment of pharmacy technicians, it is likely that the majority of technicians working in US pharmacies have not experienced increases in their wages relative to what would be expected by changes in the CPI. This has occurred at a time when pharmacies and pharmacists are asking more of their pharmacy technicians. Researchers and pharmacy managers must continue to evaluate the pharmacy technician labor market to assure that technician wage and compensation levels attract an adequate supply of sufficiently skilled workers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pharmacy Workforce Support Personnel)
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of a Remote Antimicrobial Stewardship Program on Antimicrobial Use in a Regional Hospital System
Pharmacy 2020, 8(1), 41; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy8010041 - 16 Mar 2020
Viewed by 384
Abstract
While antimicrobial stewardship programs (ASPs) are well established at most large medical centers, small or rural facilities often do not have the same resources; therefore, different methods must be developed to start or expand ASPs for these hospitals. The purpose of this quality [...] Read more.
While antimicrobial stewardship programs (ASPs) are well established at most large medical centers, small or rural facilities often do not have the same resources; therefore, different methods must be developed to start or expand ASPs for these hospitals. The purpose of this quality improvement study was to describe the implementation of a pharmacist-led remote ASP and assess the effect on antimicrobial use. Antimicrobial use in days of therapy per 1000 patient days (DOT/1000 PD) was compared between the six months before and after remote ASP implementation. Changes in system-wide, facility-specific, and target antimicrobial use were evaluated. Pharmacist interventions, acceptance rates, and number of times infectious disease (ID) physician assistance was sought were also tracked. System-wide antimicrobial use was 4.6% less in the post-implementation time period than in the pre-implementation time period, with vancomycin, piperacillin/tazobactam, and fluoroquinolones having the greatest reductions in use. Ninety-one percent of interventions made during the post-implementation period were accepted. ID physician review was requested 38 times, and direct ID physician intervention was required six times. Remote ASPs delivered from a central facility to serve a larger system may reduce antimicrobial use, especially against targeted agents, with minimal increase in ID physician workload. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antimicrobial Stewardship across the Continuum of Care)
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Open AccessCommunication
Advancing Pharmacy Practice through an Innovative Ambulatory Care Transitions Program at an Academic Medical Center
Pharmacy 2020, 8(1), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy8010040 - 12 Mar 2020
Viewed by 349
Abstract
Hospital readmissions are common and often preventable, leading to unnecessary burden on patients, families, and the health care system. The purpose of this descriptive communication is to share the impact of an interdisciplinary, outpatient clinic-based care transition intervention on clinical, organizational, and financial [...] Read more.
Hospital readmissions are common and often preventable, leading to unnecessary burden on patients, families, and the health care system. The purpose of this descriptive communication is to share the impact of an interdisciplinary, outpatient clinic-based care transition intervention on clinical, organizational, and financial outcomes. Compared to usual care, the care transition intervention decreased the median time to Internal Medicine Clinic (IMC) or any clinic follow-up visit by 5 and 4 days, respectively. By including a pharmacist in the hospital follow-up visit, the program significantly reduced all-cause 30-day hospital readmission rates (9% versus 26% in usual care) and the composite endpoint of 30-day health care utilization, which is defined as readmission and emergency department (ED) rates (19% versus 44% usual care). Over the course of one year, this program can prevent 102 30-day hospital readmissions with an estimated cost reduction of $1,113,000 per year. The pharmacist at the IMC collaborated with the Family Medicine Clinic (FMC) pharmacist to standardize practices. In the FMC, the hospital readmission rate was 6.5% for patients seen by a clinic-based pharmacist within 30 days of discharge compared to 20% for those not seen by a pharmacist. This transitions intervention demonstrated a consistent and recognizable contribution from pharmacists providing direct patient care and practicing in the ambulatory care primary care settings that has been replicated across clinics at our academic medical center. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medication Management in Care Transitions)
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Open AccessArticle
The Cost of Potentially Inappropriate Medications in Nursing Homes in West Occitanie
Pharmacy 2020, 8(1), 39; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy8010039 - 11 Mar 2020
Viewed by 352
Abstract
Introduction: As of 2019, people older than 65 years represent 20% of the French population. Despite several guidelines suggesting to avoid potentially inappropriate medication (PIM) use in elderly, the prevalence of their prescription remains high (25%). Furthermore, PIM could lead to preventable adverse [...] Read more.
Introduction: As of 2019, people older than 65 years represent 20% of the French population. Despite several guidelines suggesting to avoid potentially inappropriate medication (PIM) use in elderly, the prevalence of their prescription remains high (25%). Furthermore, PIM could lead to preventable adverse drug reactions (ADRs). The main objective of this study was to determine the direct cost of PIM in older persons living in residential care homes for the elderly (nursing homes). A secondary objective was to assess the potential impact of PIM deprescribing on drug-related health care costs. Methods: We undertook a multicenter, retrospective study in 19 care homes for the elderly including 1240 residents. The analysis of prescriptions was carried out according to the European EU(7) PIM list. The cost of each drug was estimated according to the French Medication Insurance database. Furthermore, patient’s comorbidities were studied using Charlson’s comorbidity index. In order to estimate the economic impact of PIM, we used the list of alternative appropriate drugs suggested by EU(7) PIM list and French National Health Authority. An incremental cost per patient was calculated by the difference in costs between PIMs and alternative drugs. Results: A total of 7768 lines of drug prescriptions were analyzed. The mean age was 87.6 ± 7.6 years. About 70% (n = 872) of residents received more than five drugs. We identified 959 residents (77.3%) with at least one PIM. The mean cost of PIM was 0.58 euros versus 0.48 euros for alternatives. PIM substitution by alternatives led to save 12 centimes/resident/day. The mean cost of prescription with PIM was 2.8 euros per resident per day (28% of the overall cost of prescription). According to these results, more than 25 million euros can be overall saved for aged persons living in nursing homes for the older people in France per year. Conclusion: The prevalence of PIMs among the elderly in nursing homes is high and leads to a significant cost. Deprescribing of these medications could decrease both drug misuse and cost of drug prescription. Further research is needed to estimate the overall cost of PIM exposure outcomes, taking into account the ADRs leading to hospitalization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Clinical Pharmacy)
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Open AccessArticle
Exploring Medication Adherence Using M-Health: A Study from Veterinary Medicine
Pharmacy 2020, 8(1), 38; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy8010038 - 10 Mar 2020
Viewed by 480
Abstract
Background: Pharmacy practice includes the handling of human and animal medication. Amongst veterinary pharmaceutical treatments, the management of Canine Atopic Dermatitis (CAD), a chronic skin condition affecting 10%–15% of the canine population, is complex and demanding. Medication regimens are tailored to each animal [...] Read more.
Background: Pharmacy practice includes the handling of human and animal medication. Amongst veterinary pharmaceutical treatments, the management of Canine Atopic Dermatitis (CAD), a chronic skin condition affecting 10%–15% of the canine population, is complex and demanding. Medication regimens are tailored to each animal and their owner or caregiver. The purpose of this study was to assess the impact of a mobile health (m-health) application (Petable®) to support the medication adherence in CAD treatment and clinical improvement. Methods: A total of 30 atopic dogs under treatment for CAD and their caregivers were enrolled. Both the dogs’ and owners’ background data were recorded as well as clinical and medication adherence information. This was accomplished by direct observation, clinical files consultation, mobile application, and medication adherence (Medida de Adesão aos Tratamentos—MAT questionnaire) feedback. Results: The overall non-adherence of the sample was 12.6% according to the mobile application, while 60% of caregivers self-scored as adherent according to the MAT. The only significant and positive correlation was between overall adherence and the caregiver’s education. The average degree of pruritus decreased over time and during treatment, independently to the level of m-health app usage. Conclusions: The adherence to chronic treatments may be improved through m-health apps, although further studies are needed to gauge their actual usefulness in supplementing known adherence determinants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Patient Adherence)
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Open AccessArticle
Prescribing and Safety of Direct-Acting Oral Anticoagulants Compared to Warfarin in Patients with Atrial Fibrillation on Chronic Hemodialysis
Pharmacy 2020, 8(1), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy8010037 - 10 Mar 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 557
Abstract
ESRD patients receiving hemodialysis (HD) were excluded from landmark trials evaluating direct-acting oral anticoagulants (DOACs) in atrial fibrillation (AF). The objective was to evaluate prescribing and bleeding with DOACs compared to warfarin in AF patients with chronic HD. A retrospective, observational study of [...] Read more.
ESRD patients receiving hemodialysis (HD) were excluded from landmark trials evaluating direct-acting oral anticoagulants (DOACs) in atrial fibrillation (AF). The objective was to evaluate prescribing and bleeding with DOACs compared to warfarin in AF patients with chronic HD. A retrospective, observational study of patients receiving warfarin or DOAC from April 2010-April 2016 from area health system hospitals and Dialysis Clinics, Inc. records. Data was analyzed using descriptive statistics, ANOVA, and chi-square. Ninety-one patients were included with warfarin as the initial OAC in most patients (n = 76) at average dose of 29 mg/week. Fifteen patients were initially prescribed apixaban (n = 12) or dabigatran (n = 3). Most switches in OAC therapy were to apixaban. When the initial OAC was a DOAC, it was not dosed appropriately in five with one bleed, two dosed appropriately had bleeds. When initial warfarin was switched to a DOAC, it was not dosed appropriately in seven with five bleeds. More bleeds occurred with warfarin alone (n = 18) vs. those on warfarin switched to DOAC (n = 5) vs. DOAC alone (n = 3), p = 0.022. All but four patients that bled had HAS-BLED scores three or higher. Warfarin was most often prescribed and associated with a higher incidence of bleeding compared to DOACs in this population of patients at high risk for bleeding. Larger studies should be conducted to analyze the impact of DOAC dose appropriateness on safety and clinical outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pharmacokinetics of Drugs and Dosing in Kidney Disease)
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Open AccessArticle
Medication Discrepancies in Community Pharmacies in Switzerland: Identification, Classification, and Their Potential Clinical and Economic Impact
Pharmacy 2020, 8(1), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy8010036 - 09 Mar 2020
Viewed by 522
Abstract
Background: Transitions of care are high-risk situations for the manifestation of medication discrepancies and, therefore, present threats for potential patient harm. Medication discrepancies can occur at any transition within the healthcare system. Methods: Fifth-year pharmacy students assessed a best possible medication [...] Read more.
Background: Transitions of care are high-risk situations for the manifestation of medication discrepancies and, therefore, present threats for potential patient harm. Medication discrepancies can occur at any transition within the healthcare system. Methods: Fifth-year pharmacy students assessed a best possible medication list (BPML) during a medication review (based on medication history and patient interview) in community pharmacies. They documented all discrepancies between the BPML and the latest medication prescription. Discrepancies were classified using the medication discrepancy taxonomy (MedTax) classification system and were assessed for their potential clinical and economic impact. Results: Overall, 116 patients with a mean age and medication prescription of 74 (± 10.3) years and 10.2 (± 4.2), respectively, were analyzed. Of the 317 discrepancies identified, the most frequent type was related to strength and/or frequency and/or number of units of dosage form and/or the total daily dose. Although, the majority of discrepancies were rated as inconsequential (55.2%) on health conditions, the remainder posed a potential moderate (43.2%) or severe impact (1.6%). In 49.5% of the discrepancies, the current patients’ medication cost less than the prescribed. Conclusion: Community pharmacies are at a favorable place to identify discrepancies and to counsel patients. To improve patient care, they should systematically perform medication reconciliation whenever prescriptions are renewed or added. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Cystatin C: A Primer for Pharmacists
Pharmacy 2020, 8(1), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy8010035 - 09 Mar 2020
Viewed by 582
Abstract
Pharmacists are at the forefront of dosing and monitoring medications eliminated by or toxic to the kidney. To evaluate the effectiveness and safety of these medications, accurate measurement of kidney function is paramount. The mainstay of kidney assessment for drug dosing and monitoring [...] Read more.
Pharmacists are at the forefront of dosing and monitoring medications eliminated by or toxic to the kidney. To evaluate the effectiveness and safety of these medications, accurate measurement of kidney function is paramount. The mainstay of kidney assessment for drug dosing and monitoring is serum creatinine (SCr)-based estimation equations. Yet, SCr has known limitations including its insensitivity to underlying changes in kidney function and the numerous non-kidney factors that are incompletely accounted for in equations to estimate glomerular filtration rate (eGFR). Serum cystatin C (cysC) is a biomarker that can serve as an adjunct or alternative to SCr to evaluate kidney function for drug dosing. Pharmacists must be educated about the strengths and limitations of cysC prior to applying it to medication management. Not all patient populations have been studied and some evaluations demonstrated large variations in the relationship between cysC and GFR. Use of eGFR equations incorporating cysC should be reserved for drug management in scenarios with demonstrated outcomes, including to improve pharmacodynamic target attainment for antibiotics or reduce drug toxicity. This article provides an overview of cysC, discusses evidence around its use in medication dosing and in special populations, and describes practical considerations for application and implementation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pharmacokinetics of Drugs and Dosing in Kidney Disease)
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Open AccessArticle
Pilot Implementation of Falsified Medicines Directive in Hospital Pharmacy to Develop Best Practices for Medicine Decommissioning Process
Pharmacy 2020, 8(1), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy8010034 - 09 Mar 2020
Viewed by 295
Abstract
Background: The introduction of a medicines verification and decommissioning system into the hospital pharmacy may result in an increased workload for pharmacy staff. The pilot implementation allows us to understand all the implications of the process, optimize process workflows, and estimate the time [...] Read more.
Background: The introduction of a medicines verification and decommissioning system into the hospital pharmacy may result in an increased workload for pharmacy staff. The pilot implementation allows us to understand all the implications of the process, optimize process workflows, and estimate the time and cost of implementation. Methods: All the packages received at the hospital pharmacy had a 2D data matrix codes and were scanned. We analyzed the time needed to unpack a variety of products, scan them, and receive the notification. Results: In total, 144 packages were scanned at an average time of 3.05 s, with most (86.9%) under 4 s. Manual decommissioning using handheld scanners was less efficient than the automated solution tested and resulted in an additional 0.4 full-time equivalent hours per million packages per year. The pattern and total time of manual scanning depended not only on the quantity but also the size of the package and type of packing. Conclusions: This evaluation of scanning performance allows optimizing the process at operational, technical, and resource levels for medicine verification and decommissioning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pharmacy Education and Student / Practitioner Training)
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Open AccessReview
Principles of Drug Dosing in Sustained Low Efficiency Dialysis (SLED) and Review of Antimicrobial Dosing Literature
Pharmacy 2020, 8(1), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy8010033 - 09 Mar 2020
Viewed by 483
Abstract
The use of sustained low-efficiency dialysis (SLED) as a renal replacement modality has increased in critically ill patients with both acute kidney injury (AKI) and hemodynamic instability. Unfortunately, there is a paucity of data regarding the appropriate dosing of medications for patients undergoing [...] Read more.
The use of sustained low-efficiency dialysis (SLED) as a renal replacement modality has increased in critically ill patients with both acute kidney injury (AKI) and hemodynamic instability. Unfortunately, there is a paucity of data regarding the appropriate dosing of medications for patients undergoing SLED. Dose adjustment in SLED often requires interpretation of pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetic factors and extrapolation based on dosing recommendations from other modes of renal replacement therapy (RRT). This review summarizes published trials of antimicrobial dose adjustment in SLED and discusses pharmacokinetic considerations specific to medication dosing in SLED. Preliminary recommendation is provided on selection of appropriate dosing for medications where published literature is unavailable. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pharmacokinetics of Drugs and Dosing in Kidney Disease)
Open AccessArticle
Precision Genomic Practice in Oncology: Pharmacist Role and Experience in an Ambulatory Care Clinic
Pharmacy 2020, 8(1), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy8010032 - 08 Mar 2020
Viewed by 513
Abstract
Recent advancements in molecular testing, the availability of cost-effective technology, and novel approaches to clinical trial design have facilitated the implementation of tumor genome sequencing into standard of care oncology practices. Current models of precision oncology practice include specialized clinics or consultation services [...] Read more.
Recent advancements in molecular testing, the availability of cost-effective technology, and novel approaches to clinical trial design have facilitated the implementation of tumor genome sequencing into standard of care oncology practices. Current models of precision oncology practice include specialized clinics or consultation services based on a molecular tumor board (MTB) approach. MTBs are comprised of interprofessional teams of clinicians and scientists who evaluate tumors at the molecular level to guide patient-specific targeted therapy. The practice of precision oncology utilizing MTB-based models is an emerging approach, transforming precision genomics from a novel concept into clinical practice. This rapid shift in practice from cytotoxic therapy to targeted medicine poses challenges, yet brings exciting opportunities to clinical pharmacists practicing in hematology and oncology. Only a few precision genomics programs in the United States have a strong pharmacy presence with oncology pharmacists serving in leadership roles in research, interpreting genomic sequencing, making treatment recommendations, and facilitating off-label drug procurement. This article describes the experience of the precision medicine clinic at the Indiana University Health Simon Cancer Center, with emphasis on the role of the pharmacist in the precision oncology initiative. Full article
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Open AccessProject Report
The Prescribing and Education of Naloxone in a Large Academic Medical Center
Pharmacy 2020, 8(1), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy8010031 - 05 Mar 2020
Viewed by 301
Abstract
The opioid epidemic has led to increased needs for opioid reversal agents which require education and counseling for proper use. The purpose of this study was to evaluate outpatient naloxone prescribing and education practices at an academic medical center to understand the current [...] Read more.
The opioid epidemic has led to increased needs for opioid reversal agents which require education and counseling for proper use. The purpose of this study was to evaluate outpatient naloxone prescribing and education practices at an academic medical center to understand the current state and inform quality improvement measures. This retrospective chart review study included 439 patients that were at least 18 years old and received an outpatient prescription for naloxone between 1 July 2017 and 30 June 2018. Descriptive and demographic data were collected. The primary endpoint was whether an indication for naloxone and education on administration were documented when naloxone was initially prescribed to patients. Overall, 39% of naloxone prescriptions did not have an indication for prescribing listed in the medical record. Of those with a documented indication, concomitant benzodiazepines and history of overdose or substance abuse were most common (22% and 14%). The average morphine milligram equivalents were 165. Additionally, 69% of dispenses did not have documentation that the patient or a caregiver received education regarding the use and administration of naloxone. These findings suggest that patients are receiving naloxone for appropriate indications. Documentation of medication education is needed to ensure it is occurring and that patients are informed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Clinical Pharmacy)
Open AccessArticle
Safety and Efficacy of Direct Oral Anticoagulants for Atrial Fibrillation in Patients with Renal Impairment
Pharmacy 2020, 8(1), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy8010030 - 04 Mar 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 636
Abstract
Direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) are gaining popularity for patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation (AF) for stroke prevention. Less bleeding risk with comparable stroke prevention compared to warfarin was shown. DOACs have predictable anticoagulant effects, infrequent monitoring requirements and less drug-food interactions compared to [...] Read more.
Direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) are gaining popularity for patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation (AF) for stroke prevention. Less bleeding risk with comparable stroke prevention compared to warfarin was shown. DOACs have predictable anticoagulant effects, infrequent monitoring requirements and less drug-food interactions compared to warfarin. However, safety and efficacy data of DOACs in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) are limited. This is a retrospective study to evaluate thromboembolic and bleeding events in patients with AF (with/without CKD) in October 2010 and July 2017. A total of 495 patients were included and only 150 patients had CKD. Our study found that patients with renal impairment on a DOAC do not have a higher incidence of bleeding events. It showed significant increase in thromboembolic events in CKD patients with dabigatran compared to CKD patients with apixaban with odds ratio of 6.58 (95%CI 1.35–32.02, p = 0.02). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pharmacokinetics of Drugs and Dosing in Kidney Disease)
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Open AccessCommentary
The COPHELA (Cooperation in Quality Assurance for Pharmacy Education and Training between Europe and Latin America) Project
Pharmacy 2020, 8(1), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy8010029 - 04 Mar 2020
Viewed by 331
Abstract
COPHELA (Cooperation in Quality Assurance for Pharmacy Education and Training between Europe and Latin America), a collaborative project between the European Union (EU) and Latin America, will produce on-line courses for the master degree in pharmacy. The program runs from 2019 through 2021. [...] Read more.
COPHELA (Cooperation in Quality Assurance for Pharmacy Education and Training between Europe and Latin America), a collaborative project between the European Union (EU) and Latin America, will produce on-line courses for the master degree in pharmacy. The program runs from 2019 through 2021. It is funded by the Erasmus+ program of the Education, Audio-visual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA) of the European Commission. The partners are EU and Latin American universities. These are accompanied by associated partners from EU and Latin American universities, as well as from governmental and non-governmental organizations, such as pharmacy chambers and educational associations. The project is coordinated by the University of Granada, Spain (first author of this paper). It will produce distance learning master degree courses in a dozen fields of specialized pharmaceutical science education and practice, ranging from patient care to industrial pharmacy. This paper describes the design of the project and is intended to evoke constructive comments. It also represents a call for the recruitment of additional associated partners. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Exploring Pharmacy Technician Roles in the Implementation of an Appointment-Based Medication Synchronization Program
Pharmacy 2020, 8(1), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy8010028 - 03 Mar 2020
Viewed by 372
Abstract
The objective of this study was to qualitatively explore the role of pharmacy technicians in the implementation of an appointment-based model (ABM) medication synchronization program. The purposeful sampling of technicians working within six different locations of a supermarket chain pharmacy in Mississippi and [...] Read more.
The objective of this study was to qualitatively explore the role of pharmacy technicians in the implementation of an appointment-based model (ABM) medication synchronization program. The purposeful sampling of technicians working within six different locations of a supermarket chain pharmacy in Mississippi and Tennessee was carried out, and the technicians were interviewed between January and April 2018. A semi-structured interview guide was developed based on the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR). Questions gathered information around pharmacy technician demographics and CFIR domains (process, inner setting, outer setting and intervention characteristics). Interviews were audiotaped and transcribed. Two members of the research team performed thematic content analysis. Six full-time, certified pharmacy technicians with 8.3 ± 2.7 years of experience were interviewed. Findings suggest that including hands-on experience with program software is needed during training to successfully implement ABM. A barrier to implementation was the time needed to complete ABM tasks as compared to other tasks. Although some barriers exist regarding implementation, technicians believe that overall, this program has positive benefits for patients. Results from this study signify that ABM implementation can be challenging. Better ABM portal integration with the pharmacy patient profile and appropriate workforce budgeting are key to continued success. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pharmacy Workforce Support Personnel)
Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of Pharmaceutical Compounding Training in the Australian Undergraduate Pharmacy Curricula
Pharmacy 2020, 8(1), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy8010027 - 26 Feb 2020
Viewed by 393
Abstract
Introduction: In recent decades the role of the Australian community pharmacist has evolved to focus primarily on pharmaceutical care provision. Despite this, compounding remains an important product service offered by pharmacists. The aim of this study was to qualitatively describe the current integration [...] Read more.
Introduction: In recent decades the role of the Australian community pharmacist has evolved to focus primarily on pharmaceutical care provision. Despite this, compounding remains an important product service offered by pharmacists. The aim of this study was to qualitatively describe the current integration of training in compounding within Bachelor of Pharmacy courses in Australia. Methods: The Australian Health Practitioner Regulatory Agency website was searched to identify eligible university courses. Subsequently, the educational providers’ homepages were consulted, and Bachelor of Pharmacy handbooks and curricula perused. All relevant information regarding training in compounding was extracted. Results: In total, 16 Bachelor of Pharmacy courses were identified. All of these contain compounding training in their curricula, including laboratory classes. Most curricula have units specifically dedicated to compounding and drug formulation. Three universities offer a curriculum which is organ-systems based, and include compounding relevant to the individual organ systems. Discussion and Conclusions: In Australia, the training in compounding is well integrated into pharmacy curriculum and is more emphasised than in many other developed countries. This is congruent with the International Pharmaceutical Federation’s needs-based approach to local pharmacy education. In Australia there is a need for pharmacists to routinely dispense simple compounded products. Further research is required to evaluate Australian pharmacy graduates’ compounding abilities and how best to promote the achievement of the required knowledge and skills to enable simple compounding. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pharmacy Curriculum Development)
Open AccessArticle
Assessing Performance and Engagement on a Computer-Based Education Platform for Pharmacy Practice
Pharmacy 2020, 8(1), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy8010026 - 24 Feb 2020
Viewed by 574
Abstract
A computer-based education platform was developed using a theory-based approach to help Canadian pharmacy professionals adopt their full scope of practice. Data from the platform were used to identify factors that impacted user performance and engagement. A de-identified dataset included response data for [...] Read more.
A computer-based education platform was developed using a theory-based approach to help Canadian pharmacy professionals adopt their full scope of practice. Data from the platform were used to identify factors that impacted user performance and engagement. A de-identified dataset included response data for 21 unique modules, including quiz responses and self-reflection questions. Outcome measures included user performance (mean quiz score) and engagement (completion rate for attempted modules). Analysis of variance (ANOVA), multivariate regression modelling, and machine learning cluster analysis were used to analyze the data. Of the 5290 users, 68% were pharmacists, 11% were technicians, 13% were pharmacy students, and 8% were pharmacy technician students. Four clusters were identified separately for pharmacists and technicians. Clusters with the higher performance and engagement tended to have more users practicing in community pharmacies while the lower performing clusters tended have more internationally trained users. In the regression modelling, pharmacists performed better than technicians and students while students were more engaged (p < 0.0001). Further, internationally trained pharmacists had slightly lower scores but similar engagement compared to domestically trained pharmacists (p < 0.0001). Users demonstrated higher performance on modules related to scope of practice than on clinical topics, and were most engaged with topics directly impacting daily practice such as influenza vaccinations and new and emerging subjects such as cannabis. The cluster analysis suggests that performance and engagement with a computer-based educational platform in pharmacy may be more related to place of practice than to personal demographic factors such as age or gender. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Continuing Professional Development in Pharmacy)
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Open AccessArticle
Preliminary Investigation of Pharmacist-Delivered, Direct-to-Provider Interventions to Reduce Co-Prescribing of Opioids and Benzodiazepines among a Medicare Population
Pharmacy 2020, 8(1), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy8010025 - 21 Feb 2020
Viewed by 604
Abstract
Co-prescribing of opioids and benzodiazepines can lead to overdoses and mortality. This retrospective study analyzed prescription claims data collected in 2016. A national medication therapy management (MTM) program conducted prescriber-based outreach interventions for patients with concurrent opioid and benzodiazepine prescriptions. The pharmacist’s direct-to-prescriber [...] Read more.
Co-prescribing of opioids and benzodiazepines can lead to overdoses and mortality. This retrospective study analyzed prescription claims data collected in 2016. A national medication therapy management (MTM) program conducted prescriber-based outreach interventions for patients with concurrent opioid and benzodiazepine prescriptions. The pharmacist’s direct-to-prescriber intervention was conducted following a targeted medication review. The pharmacist initiated interventions with the prescriber via facsimile to recommend discontinuation of concurrent use of these drugs. This study included 57,748 subjects who were predominantly female (67.83%) and aged ≥ 65 years (66.90%). Prescribers were most commonly located in the southern United States (46.88%). The top prescribed opioid medications were hydrocodone-acetaminophen (33.60%), tramadol (17.50%), and oxycodone-acetaminophen (15.66%). The top benzodiazepines prescribed concurrently with opioids were alprazolam (35.11%), clonazepam (21.16%), and lorazepam (20.09%). Based on the pharmacists’ recommendations, 37,990 (65.79%) resulted in a medication discontinuation (benzodiazepines 40.23%; opioids 59.77%) by the provider. There were significant differences in the proportion of opioids discontinued by subject age (p < 0.001) and prescriber geographical region (p = 0.0148). The top medications discontinued by the prescriber were hydrocodone-acetaminophen (18.86%), alprazolam (14.19%), and tramadol HCl (13.51%). This study provides initial evidence for pharmacist-supported, direct-to-prescriber programs as an effective medication safety strategy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drug-Related Problems in Elderly Patients)
Open AccessArticle
Prescriber-Initiated Engagement of Pharmacists for Information and Intervention in Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly
Pharmacy 2020, 8(1), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy8010024 - 21 Feb 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 492
Abstract
Little is known about the types of drug information inquiries (DIIs) prescribers caring for older adults ask pharmacists during routine practice. The objective of this research was to analyze the types of DIIs prescribing clinicians of Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly [...] Read more.
Little is known about the types of drug information inquiries (DIIs) prescribers caring for older adults ask pharmacists during routine practice. The objective of this research was to analyze the types of DIIs prescribing clinicians of Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) made to clinical pharmacists during routine patient care. This was a retrospective analysis of documented pharmacists’ encounters with PACE prescribers between March through December, 2018. DIIs were classified using a developed taxonomy that describes prescribers’ motivations for consulting with pharmacists and their drug information needs. Prescribers made 414 DIIs during the study period. Medication safety concerns motivated the majority of prescribers’ inquiries (223, 53.9%). Inquiries received frequently involved modifying drug therapy (94, 22.7%), identifying or resolving adverse drug events (75, 18.1%), selecting or adjusting doses (61, 14.7%), selecting new drug therapies (57, 13.8%), and identifying or resolving drug interactions (52, 12.6%). Central nervous system medications (e.g., antidepressants and opioids), were involved in 38.6% (n = 160) of all DIIs. When answering DIIs, pharmacists made 389 recommendations. Start alternative medications (18.0%), start new medications (16.7%), and change doses (12.1%) were the most frequent recommendations rendered. Prescribers implemented at least 79.3% (n = 268) of recommendations based on pharmacy records (n = 338 verifiable recommendations). During clinical practice, PACE prescribers commonly ask pharmacists a variety of DIIs, largely related to medication safety concerns. In response to these DIIs, pharmacists provide medication management recommendations, which are largely implemented by prescribers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Clinical Pharmacy)
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Open AccessArticle
The impact of a Post-Take Ward Round Pharmacist on the Risk Score and Enactment of Medication-Related Recommendations
Pharmacy 2020, 8(1), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy8010023 - 20 Feb 2020
Viewed by 398
Abstract
There is a scarcity of published research describing the impact of a pharmacist on the post-take ward round (PTWR) in addition to ward-based pharmacy services. The aim of this paper was to evaluate the impact of clinical pharmacists’ participation on the PTWR on [...] Read more.
There is a scarcity of published research describing the impact of a pharmacist on the post-take ward round (PTWR) in addition to ward-based pharmacy services. The aim of this paper was to evaluate the impact of clinical pharmacists’ participation on the PTWR on the risk assessment scores of medication-related recommendations with and without a pharmacist. This includes medication-related recommendations occurring on the PTWR and those recommendations made by the ward-based pharmacist on the inpatient ward. A pre–post intervention study was undertaken that compared the impact of adding a pharmacist to the PTWR compared with ward-based pharmacist services alone. A panel reviewed the risk of not acting on medication recommendations that was made on the PTWR and those recorded by the ward-based pharmacist. The relationship between the risk scores and the number and proportion of recommendations that led to action were compared between study groups. There were more medication-related recommendations on the PTWR in the intervention group when a pharmacist was present. Proportionately fewer were in the ’very high and extreme’ risk category. Although there was no difference in the number of ward pharmacist recommendations between groups, there was a significantly higher proportion of ward pharmacist recommendations in the “very high and extreme” category in those patients who had been seen on a PTWR attended by a pharmacist than when a pharmacist was not present. There were a greater proportion of “low and medium” risk actionable medication recommendations actioned on the PTWR in the intervention group; and no difference in the risk scores in ward pharmacist recommendations actioned between groups. Overall, the proportion of recommendations that were actioned was higher for those made on the PTWR compared with the ward. The addition of a pharmacist to the PTWR resulted in an increase in low, medium, and high risk recommendations on the PTWR, more very high and extreme risk recommendations made by the ward-based pharmacist, plus an increased number of recommendations being actioned during the patients’ admission. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Community Pharmacists in Public Health)
Open AccessReview
Long-Term Evaluation of a UK Community Pharmacy-Based Weight Management Service
Pharmacy 2020, 8(1), 22; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy8010022 - 19 Feb 2020
Viewed by 636
Abstract
Obesity increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer, reducing both the quality and quantity of life. Consequently, government healthcare costs are significant. A greater than 5% reduction in weight has been shown to result in significant improvements in type [...] Read more.
Obesity increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer, reducing both the quality and quantity of life. Consequently, government healthcare costs are significant. A greater than 5% reduction in weight has been shown to result in significant improvements in type II diabetes, blood pressure and cholesterol levels and therefore effective interventions are required. This paper reports the results from 17 years of delivering a private, individualised very low calorie diet (VLCD) programme in community pharmacy. In line with national guidelines, a community pharmacy-based private weight management service was set up to support individuals over the age of 18. After assessment for clinical suitability, individuals were offered either a flexible weight loss plan or a strict weight loss plan using a very low calorie diet (VLCD). The VLCD was delivered using the protocols of the proprietary programme, Lipotrim™. These individuals followed one or more dieting sequences, defined as at least one week of attendance whilst following the VLCD, without discontinuation, producing at least a start and end weight. Data were recorded weekly and audited for this report including weight and BMI on initial presentation, weight and BMI lost and % weight and BMI loss. A total of 1875 dieting sequences were recorded from 1023 dieters. In 1261 (67.3%) sequences, a medically beneficial weight loss of >5% was achieved. Overall, the cohort demonstrated mean (sd) % weight losses of 10.1% (7.7). Mean (sd) % weight losses seen in people with type 2 diabetes was 10.4% (2.7) and 10.6% (5.9) in hypertension. In total, 555 diet sequences accessed long-term weight maintenance support. In 173 (31%) of these cases, a second weight check post weight loss could not be made. The remaining 382 individuals presenting showed a mean (sd) weight gain of only 1.4 kg (4.3) equating to a mean (sd) % weight gain of only 1.8% (4.6) over a mean (sd) number of days post weight-loss of 132 days (179). The results from this long-term review demonstrate that with proper provision of a nutritionally complete VLCD, through private service provision, community pharmacies can make a significant contribution to reducing the obesity epidemic at no cost to state-funded health systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Clinical Pharmacy)
Open AccessCase Report
Adaptive Expertise in Continuing Pharmacy Professional Development
Pharmacy 2020, 8(1), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy8010021 - 18 Feb 2020
Viewed by 409
Abstract
Pharmacists are facing rapid changes and increasing complexity in the workplace. The astounding rate of both the evolution and the development of knowledge in pharmacy practice requires that we develop continuing professional development (CPD) to foster and support innovation, creativity, and flexibility, alongside [...] Read more.
Pharmacists are facing rapid changes and increasing complexity in the workplace. The astounding rate of both the evolution and the development of knowledge in pharmacy practice requires that we develop continuing professional development (CPD) to foster and support innovation, creativity, and flexibility, alongside procedural expertise. Adaptive expertise provides a conceptual framework for developing experts who can both perform professional tasks efficiently as well as creatively handle new and difficult-to-anticipate problems. This article approaches knowledge production in daily pharmacy practice and CPD through a cognitive psychology lens, and highlights three educational approaches to support the development of adaptive expertise in the workplace: (1) explaining not just what to do, but why you are doing it, (2) allowing and encouraging struggle, and (3) asking “what if” questions to encourage meaningful variation and reveal underlying core concepts. These three evidence-based strategies will cultivate long-term learning and will support pharmacists as we move into more complicated and ambiguous roles. Pharmacy CPD can be transformed to support the development of both procedural and conceptual knowledge in a local environment to support learning and innovation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Continuing Professional Development in Pharmacy)
Open AccessArticle
Over-The-Counter Availability of Levonorgestrel Emergency Contraception in Pharmacies on Oahu
Pharmacy 2020, 8(1), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy8010020 - 15 Feb 2020
Viewed by 403
Abstract
Since the United States Food and Drug Administration’s approval of over-the-counter levonorgestrel emergency contraception, access to this time-sensitive medication has improved. However, multiple barriers, including the cost of the medication and pharmacy availability, still exist. The objective of this study was to determine [...] Read more.
Since the United States Food and Drug Administration’s approval of over-the-counter levonorgestrel emergency contraception, access to this time-sensitive medication has improved. However, multiple barriers, including the cost of the medication and pharmacy availability, still exist. The objective of this study was to determine the over-the-counter availability of levonorgestrel emergency contraception in pharmacies on Oahu, Hawaii. We conducted a cross-sectional population-based study using in-person simulated patient encounters at all pharmacies on Oahu. Out of 109 chain pharmacies and 13 independent pharmacies, 102 (84%) pharmacies had levonorgestrel emergency contraception available over the counter. Of pharmacies in which it was available, 12.7% required an employee to unlock the medication, 37.3% required the medication to be unlocked at the register, 29.4% were packaged in a large plastic box, and 3.9% were packaged in a blister pack. Levonorgestrel emergency contraception is widely available as an over-the-counter medication in pharmacies on Oahu, yet there are packaging and display practices that make it less accessible. Many of these practices could be improved with pharmacy education or changes in store policies. Systems-based interventions are needed to improve the access to levonorgestrel emergency contraception as an over-the-counter medication. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pharmacist Contraception Services)
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Open AccessArticle
Clinical Pharmacy Activities in Swiss Hospitals: How Have They Evolved from 2013 to 2017?
Pharmacy 2020, 8(1), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy8010019 - 08 Feb 2020
Viewed by 623
Abstract
The role of pharmacists is changing; in many countries, pharmacists have acquired new competencies. A survey conducted in 2013 mapped the clinical pharmacy services in Swiss hospitals by quantifying full-time equivalents (FTE) and depicting clinical pharmacy activities. The aim of this survey was [...] Read more.
The role of pharmacists is changing; in many countries, pharmacists have acquired new competencies. A survey conducted in 2013 mapped the clinical pharmacy services in Swiss hospitals by quantifying full-time equivalents (FTE) and depicting clinical pharmacy activities. The aim of this survey was to update these results and analyze the development in Swiss hospitals. An online questionnaire was sent to chief hospital pharmacists (n = 60). The questionnaire was developed based on the previous survey and on a literature search. The survey took place from June to September 2017. In the survey, 44 hospital pharmacies participated (return rate 73%). They counted 265.8 FTE for pharmacists; 31 offered clinical pharmacy services. Hospitals participating in both surveys (n = 32) showed a significant increase in FTE for hospital (+24.5%) and clinical (+62.7%) pharmacists. The number of training positions available for the certificate of proficiency in “clinical pharmacy” has increased by 5.5. Patient-related services are less commonly implemented in comparison to treatment and process-related services. In conclusion, the increase in FTE of clinical pharmacists was more pronounced than of hospital pharmacists in general. For further development and broader implementation of clinical pharmacy services, however, hospital pharmacies should increase the number of training positions and should direct more activities towards patient-related services. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Pharmaceutical Care)
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