This study assessed pharmacy performance and satisfaction as reported by patients during ovulation induction therapy.
Materials and methods
Patients (n = 1269) receiving gonadotropin prescriptions for intrauterine insemination or in vitro fertilisation-embryo transfer in 2007–2008 were prospectively interviewed by nurses and/or completed a structured questionnaire to evaluate pharmacy performance. "Community" (n = 12) and "specialty" (n = 2) pharmacy status (C vs. S) was defined by each pharmacy, and all pharmacies were selected by patients before cycle start. Patient comments about their pharmacy were classified into five types: i) Dispensing error-gonadotropin, ii) Dispensing error-non gonadotropin, iii) Mistake in prescribed medical equipment/supplies, iv) Counselling/communication inaccuracy, and v) Inventory problem or other.
391 pharmacy concerns were reported from 150 fertility patients during the study period. The majority (75.9%) of patients selected a S pharmacy to fill their prescriptions, and this pharmacy type was identified in 2.8% of adverse pharmacy encounters (p < 0.0001). Non-gonadotropin prescriptions filled at C pharmacies accounted for 40.2% of all complaints, followed by problems with prescriptions for supplies (20.2%) and gonadotropins (18.7%) at C pharmacies. Patient conflict involving S pharmacies was limited (n = 11), and related to operating hours and medication delivery logistics.
Fertility patients reported a disproportionate and significantly higher number of adverse pharmacy encounters from C pharmacies compared to S pharmacies. Although no licensing mechanism in Ireland currently recognises special training or certification in any area of pharmacy practice, informal self-designations by pharmacies remain a useful discriminator. Level of familiarity with fertility medicines and availability of inventory are important characteristics to be considered when counselling fertility patients about pharmacy choice. Those who select a C pharmacy should be advised to allow extra time for inventory verification, order confirmation, and additional counselling. Additional study is needed to determine if a minimum volume of fertility-related prescriptions is necessary to assure competence in this particular field of pharmacy practice.
Objectives. To evaluate scholarship, as represented by peer-reviewed journal articles, among US pharmacy practice faculty members; contribute evidence that may better inform benchmarking by academic pharmacy practice departments; and examine factors that may be related to publication rates.
Methods. Journal articles published by all pharmacy practice faculty members between January 1, 2006, and December 31, 2010, were identified. College and school publication rates were compared based on public vs. private status, being part of a health science campus, having a graduate program, and having doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) faculty members funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Results. Pharmacy practice faculty members published 6,101 articles during the 5-year study period, and a pharmacy practice faculty member was the primary author on 2,698 of the articles. Pharmacy practice faculty members published an average of 0.51 articles per year. Pharmacy colleges and schools affiliated with health science campuses, at public institutions, with NIH-funded PharmD faculty members, and with graduate programs had significantly higher total publication rates compared with those that did not have these characteristics (p<0.006).
Conclusion. Pharmacy practice faculty members contributed nearly 6,000 unique publications over the 5-year period studied. However, this reflects a rate of less than 1 publication per faculty member per year, suggesting that a limited number of faculty members produced the majority of publications.
academia; pharmacy practice; faculty; publications; scholarship
In Australia, the profession of pharmacy has undergone many changes to adapt to the needs of the
community. In recent years, concerns have been raised with evidence emerging of workforce saturation
in traditional pharmacy practice sectors. It is not known how current final year pharmacy
students’ perceive the different pharmacy career paths in this changing environment. Hence
investigating students’ current experiences with their pharmacy course, interaction with the
profession and developing an understanding of their career intentions would be an important step, as
these students would make up a large proportion of future pharmacy workforce.
The objective of this study was thus to investigate final year students’ career
perspectives and the reasons for choosing pharmacy, satisfaction with this choice of pharmacy as a
tertiary course and a possible future career, factors affecting satisfaction and intention of future
A quantitative cross sectional survey of final year students from 3 Australian universities
followed by a qualitative semi-structured interview of a convenience sample of final year students
from the University of Sydney.
‘Interest in health and medicine’ was the most important reason for choosing
pharmacy (n=238). The majority of students were ‘somewhat satisfied’ with the choice
of pharmacy (35.7%) as a course and possible future career. Positive associations were found
between satisfaction and reasons for joining pharmacy such as ‘felt pharmacy is a good
profession’ (p=0.003) while negative associations included ‘joined pharmacy as a
gateway to medicine or dentistry’ (p=0.001). Quantitate and qualitative results showed the
most frequent perception of community pharmacy was ‘changing’ while hospital and
pharmaceutical industry was described as ‘competitive’ and ‘research’
respectively. The highest career intention was community followed by hospital pharmacy.
Complex factors including university experiences are involved in shaping students’
satisfaction and perception of career. This may relate to challenges in the community pharmacy
sector, job opportunities in hospital and limited understanding of the pharmaceutical industry. The
results offer insight for the profession in terms of entry into various roles and also to pharmacy
educators for their roles in shaping curricula and placement experiences that attract future
graduates to defined career pathways in pharmacy.
Students; Pharmacy; Career Choice; Personal Satisfaction; Pharmacists; Pharmaceutical Services; Australia
There is a growing indifference among the pharmacy practitioners towards their duty as information providers to the patients. The patients do not always get enough desired information about proper use of medicines from the prescribers also. This contributes to improper use of medicines by the patients.
To bring about awareness about rational pharmacy practice in pharmacy students for better service to the patients.
Material and Methods:
The final year students of Bachelor of Pharmacy (B. Pharm) from four colleges of Nagpur were enrolled for the study after informed consent. Their base knowledge was assessed through a written test which comprised of 27 objective questions related to rational pharmacy practice. This was followed by a series of seven articles on rational medicine use, published in leading local English news daily. The participants were reminded to read them on the day of publication of each article. As a backup, the articles were displayed on the notice board of respective colleges. Second intervention was a half day interactive session where series of six lectures were delivered to the participants on the right and wrong approaches in pharmacy practice. Posters about the do's and dont's of rational pharmacy practice were also displayed at the venue. The session was followed by a repeat test using the same pre-test to assess the change. Pre and post intervention data was compared using Fisher's Exact test.
It was observed that the intervention did bring about a positive change in the attitude and knowledge of the final year Pharmacy students about rational pharmacy practice.
The role of a pharmacist in health care provision is usually overlooked in India. Hence there is strong need for reinforcement in final year B. Pharm when most of the students go in for community service. Such interventions will be helpful in bringing about a positive change towards rational practice of pharmacy.
This study showed that a properly timed and meticulously implemented intervention brings about a positive change in the attitude and knowledge of pharmacy students.
Current Index of Medical Specialities; Food and Drug Administration; Fisher's Exact test; Indian Drug Review; information, education, communication (IEC); knowledge, attitude and practice (KAP); Monthly Index of Medical Specialities; rational use
Objective. To assess mental health education in the undergraduate pharmacy curricula in the United Kingdom and gauge how well prepared graduates are to manage mental health patients.
Method. The authors conducted semi-structured telephone interviews with pharmacy educators and administered an electronic self-administered survey instrument to pharmacy graduates.
Results. The mental health conditions of depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and Parkinson disease were taught, in detail, by all schools, but more specialized areas of mental health (eg, personality disorder, autism) were generally not taught. Just 5 of 19 schools attempted to teach the broader social aspects of mental health. A third of the schools provided experiential learning opportunities. Graduates and recently registered pharmacists stated that undergraduate education had prepared them adequately with regard to knowledge on conditions and treatment options, but that they were not as well prepared to talk with mental health patients and deal with practical drug management-related issues.
Conclusion. The mental health portion of the undergraduate pharmacy curricula in colleges and schools of pharmacy in the United Kingdom is largely theoretical, and pharmacy students have little exposure to mental health patients. Graduates identified an inability to effectively communicate with these patients and manage common drug management-related issues.
mental health; pharmacy education; graduate; curriculum
To assess the public’s attitudes towards the community pharmacist’s role in Qatar, to investigate the public’s use of community pharmacy, and to determine the public’s views of and satisfaction with community pharmacy services currently provided in Qatar.
Materials and methods
Three community pharmacies in Qatar were randomly selected as study sites. Patients 16 years of age and over who were able to communicate in English or Arabic were randomly approached and anonymously interviewed using a multipart pretested survey.
Over 5 weeks, 58 patients were interviewed (60% response rate). A total of 45% of respondents perceived community pharmacists as having a good balance between health and business matters. The physician was considered the first person to contact to answer drug- related questions by 50% of respondents. Most patients agreed that the community pharmacist should provide them with the medication directions of use (93%) and advise them about the treatment of minor ailments (79%); however, more than 70% didn’t expect the community pharmacist to monitor their health progress or to perform any health screening. Half of the participants (52%) reported visiting the pharmacy at least monthly. The top factor that affected a patient’s choice of any pharmacy was pharmacy location (90%). When asked about their views about community pharmacy services in Qatar, only 37% agreed that the pharmacist gave them sufficient time to discuss their problem and was knowledgeable enough to answer their questions.
This pilot study suggested that the public has a poor understanding of the community pharmacist’s role in monitoring drug therapy, performing health screening, and providing drug information. Several issues of concern were raised including insufficient pharmacist– patient contact time and unsatisfactory pharmacist knowledge. To advance pharmacy practice in Qatar, efforts may be warranted to address identified issues and to promote the community pharmacist’s role in drug therapy monitoring, drug information provision, and health screening.
pharmacist; public; attitudes; Qatar
Reduced length of hospital stay following childbirth has placed increasing demands on community-based post-birth care services in Australia. Queensland is one of several states in Australia in which nurses are employed privately by pharmacies to provide maternal and child health care, yet little is known about their prevalence, attributes or role. The aims of this paper are to (1) explore the experiences and perspectives of a sample of pharmacy nurses and GPs who provide maternal and child health services in Queensland, Australia (2) describe the professional qualifications of the sample of pharmacy nurses, and (3) describe and analyze the location of pharmacy nurse clinics in relation to publicly provided services.
As part of a state-wide evaluation of post-birth care in Queensland, Australia, case studies were conducted in six regional and metropolitan areas which included interviews with 47 key informants involved in postnatal care provision. We report on the prevalence of pharmacy nurses in the case study sites, and on the key informant interviews with 19 pharmacy nurses and six General Practitioners (GPs). The interviews were transcribed and analysed thematically.
The prevalence of pharmacy nurses appears to be highest where public services are least well integrated, coordinated and/or accessible. Pharmacy nurses report high levels of demand for their services, which they argue fill a number of gaps in the public provision of maternal and child health care including accessibility, continuity of carer, flexibility and convenient location. The concerns of pharmacy nurses include lack of privacy for consultations, limited capacity for client record keeping and follow up, and little opportunity for professional development, while GPs expressed concerns about inadequate public care and about the lack of regulation of pharmacy based care.
Pharmacy based clinics are a market-driven response to gaps in the public provision of care. Currently there are no minimum standards or qualifications required of pharmacy nurses, no oversight or regulation of their practice, and no formal mechanisms for communicating with other providers of postnatal care. We discuss the implications and possible mechanisms to enhance best-practice care.
Postnatal care; Pharmacy nurse; Child health clinic
New York State (NYS) passed legislation authorizing pharmacists to administer immunizations in 2008. Racial/socioeconomic disparities persist in vaccination rates and vaccine-preventable diseases such as influenza. Many NYS pharmacies participate in the Expanded Syringe Access Program (ESAP), which allows provision of non-prescription syringes to help prevent transmission of HIV, and are uniquely positioned to offer vaccination services to low-income communities. To understand individual and neighborhood characteristics of pharmacy staff support for in-pharmacy vaccination, we combined census tract data with baseline pharmacy data from the Pharmacies as Resources Making Links to Community Services (PHARM-Link) study among ESAP-registered pharmacies. The sample consists of 437 pharmacists, non-pharmacist owners, and technicians enrolled from 103 eligible New York City pharmacies. Using multilevel analysis, pharmacy staff who expressed support of in-pharmacy vaccination services were 69% more likely to support in-pharmacy HIV testing services (OR, 1.69; 95% CI 1.39–2.04). While pharmacy staff who worked in neighborhoods with a high percent of minority residents were less likely to express support of in-pharmacy vaccination, those in neighborhoods with a high percent of foreign-born residents were marginally more likely to express support of in-pharmacy vaccination. While educational campaigns around the importance of vaccination access may be needed among some pharmacy staff and minority community residents, we have provided evidence supporting scale-up of vaccination efforts in pharmacies located in foreign-born/immigrant communities which has potential to reduce disparities in vaccination rates and preventable influenza-related mortality.
Vaccination access; Pharmacy services; Pharmacy staff support; Racial/ethnic disparities
To assess the current status of multi-campus colleges and schools of pharmacy within the United States.
Data on multi-campus programs, technology, communication, and opinions regarding benefits and challenges were collected from Web sites, e-mail, and phone interviews from all colleges and schools of pharmacy with students in class on more than 1 campus.
Twenty schools and colleges of pharmacy (18 public and 2 private) had multi-campus programs; 16 ran parallel campuses and 4 ran sequential campuses. Most programs used synchronous delivery of classes. The most frequently reported reasons for establishing the multi-campus program were to have access to a hospital and/or medical campus and clinical resources located away from the main campus and to increase class size. Effectiveness of distance education technology was most often sited as a challenge.
About 20% of colleges and schools of pharmacy have multi-campus programs most often to facilitate access to clinical resources and to increase class size. These programs expand learning opportunities and face challenges related to technology, resources, and communication.
multi-campus; distance education; administration
To compare the attributes of US colleges and schools of pharmacy and describe the extent of change to the pharmacy education enterprise associated with the addition of new schools.
Attributes analyzed included whether the college or school of pharmacy was old or new, public or private, secular or faith-based, and on or not on an academic health center (AHC) campus; had 3- or 4- year programs; and had PhD students enrolled. PharmD student enrollment-to-faculty ratios and junior-to-senior faculty ratios also were examined.
Of the new colleges/schools, 76% were private and 79% were not located on a campus with an AHC; 6% had PhD enrollment compared with 80% of old colleges/schools. Faculty ratios were related to several college/school attributes, including the presence or absence of PhD students and whether the college/school was public or private.
Attributes of new colleges and schools of pharmacy have changed the overall profile of all colleges and schools of pharmacy. For example, smaller percentages of all colleges and schools of pharmacy are public and have PhD enrollees.
pharmacy education; faculty-to-student ratio; college/school attributes
Since 2009, pharmacists in all 50 states in the U.S. have been authorized to administer vaccinations.
This study examined racial and ethnic disparities in the reported receipt of influenza vaccinations within the past year among noninstitutionalized community pharmacy patients and non-community pharmacy respondents.
The 2009 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey was analyzed. The sample consisted of respondents aged 50 years or older, as per the 2009 recommendations by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. Bivariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were conducted to examine the influenza vaccination rates and disparities in receiving influenza vaccinations within past year between non-Hispanic Whites (Whites), non-Hispanic Blacks (Blacks) and Hispanics. The influenza vaccination rates between community pharmacy patients and non-community pharmacy respondents were also examined.
Bivariate analyses found that among the community pharmacy patients, a greater proportion of Whites reported receiving influenza vaccinations compared to Blacks (60.9% vs. 49.1%; P < 0.0001) and Hispanics (60.9% vs. 51.7%; P < 0.0001). Among non-community pharmacy respondents, differences also were observed in reported influenza vaccination rates among Whites compared to Blacks (41.0% vs. 24.3%; P < 0.0001) and Hispanics (41.0% vs. 26.0%; P < 0.0001). Adjusted logistic regression analyses found significant racial disparities between Blacks and Whites in receiving influenza vaccinations within the past year among both community pharmacy patients (odds ratio [OR]: 0.81; 95% CI: 0.69–0.95) and non-community pharmacy respondents (OR: 0.66; 95% CI: 0.46–0.94). Sociodemographic characteristics and health status accounted for the disparities between Hispanics and Whites. Overall, community pharmacy patients reported higher influenza vaccination rates compared to non-community pharmacy respondents (59.0% vs. 37.2%; P < 0.0001).
Although influenza vaccination rates were higher among community pharmacy patients, there were racial disparities in receiving influenza vaccinations among both community pharmacy patients and non-community pharmacy respondents. Increased emphasis on educational campaigns among pharmacists and their patients, especially minorities, may be needed.
Racial ethnic disparities; Influenza vaccinations; Immunization; Community pharmacy; Pharmacists
Objective. To determine the association between characteristics of colleges and schools of pharmacy and their rankings according to US News and World Report.
Methods. The 2008 US News and World Report, mean ranking scores (ranging from 2.0 to 5.0) for 78 US colleges and schools of pharmacy were compared with college and school characteristics, including academic program, students, faculty, and scholarship. The adjusted difference in mean ranking score associated with each characteristic was determined using a multivariate mixed linear regression model.
Results. The most powerful identified predictors of mean ranking score included the amount of grant funding (National Institutes of Health [NIH] and non-NIH funding) a college or school of pharmacy received and the yearly publication rates of its department of pharmacy (p≤0.001 for both). The adjusted mean ranking scores for colleges and schools receiving >$5 million and $1 million to $5 million in scholarly grant funding were respectively 0.77 and 0.26 points higher than those receiving none. Adjusted mean ranking scores for colleges and schools whose departments of pharmacy practice had publishing rates of >20 papers and 11 to 20 papers were respectively 0.40 and 0.17 points higher than those publishing ≤10 (p<0.05 for both).
Conclusion. The characteristic of colleges and schools of pharmacy most associated with US News and World Report rankings appears to be their scholarly productivity.
pharmacy education; ranking; assessment; teaching; publications; scholarship
In India, private pharmacies are ubiquitous yet critical establishments that facilitate community access to medicines. These are often the first points of treatment seeking in parts of India and other low income settings around the world. The characteristics of these pharmacies including their location, drug availability, human resources and infrastructure have not been studied before. Given the ubiquity and popularity of private pharmacies in India, such information would be useful to harness the potential of these pharmacies to deliver desirable public health outcomes, to facilitate regulation and to involve in initiatives pertaining to rational drug use. This study was a cross sectional survey that mapped private pharmacies in one district on a geographic information system and described relevant characteristics of these units.
This study of pharmacies was a part of larger cross sectional survey carried out to map all the health care providers in Ujjain district (population 1.9 million), Central India, on a geographic information system. Their location vis-à-vis formal providers of health services were studied. Other characteristics like human resources, infrastructure, clients and availability of tracer drugs were also surveyed.
A total 475 private pharmacies were identified in the district. Three-quarter were in urban areas, where they were concentrated around physician practices. In rural areas, pharmacies were located along the main roads. A majority of pharmacies simultaneously retailed medicines from multiple systems of medicine. Tracer parenteral antibiotics and injectable steroids were available in 83.7% and 88.7% pharmacies respectively. The proportion of clients without prescription was 39.04%. Only 11.58% of staff had formal pharmacist qualifications. Power outages were a significant challenge.
This is the first mapping of pharmacies & their characteristics in India. It provides evidence of the urban dominance and close relationship between healthcare provider location and pharmacy location. The implications of this relationship are discussed. The study reports a lack of qualified staff in the presence of a high proportion of clients attending without a prescription. The study highlights the need for the better implementation of regulation. Besides facilitating regulation & partnerships, the data also provides a sampling frame for future interventional studies on these pharmacies.
To describe the extent of psychiatric pharmacy instruction in US pharmacy curricula, including course and faculty characteristics and mental health topics taught in clinical therapeutics-based courses.
An 11-item survey instrument (54% response) was developed and mailed to 91 colleges and schools of pharmacy.
Over 75% of colleges and schools employed a psychiatric pharmacist; however, less than 50% of faculty teaching psychiatric pharmacy content were psychiatric pharmacy specialists as defined in the study. All colleges and schools included psychiatric topics as part of a therapeutics-based course with an average of 9.5% of course content devoted to these topics. About 25% of colleges and schools offered elective didactic courses in psychiatric pharmacy. Only 2 schools required a psychiatric pharmacy advanced pharmacy practice experience (APPE), but about 92% offered elective APPEs. The mean number of hours spent on lecture- and case-based instruction across all colleges and schools was highest for depression and lowest for personality disorders.
There is a need for colleges and schools of pharmacy to better identify and standardize the minimal acceptable level of didactic instruction in psychiatric pharmacy as well as the minimal level of specialty qualifications for faculty members who teach this subject.
psychiatric pharmacy; pharmacy education; curriculum; mental health
Websites of many rogue sellers of medications are accessible through links in email spam messages or via web search engines. This study examined how well students enrolled in a U.S. higher education institution could identify clearly unsafe pharmacies.
The aim is to estimate these health consumers´ vulnerability to fraud by illegitimate Internet pharmacies.
Two Internet pharmacy websites, created specifically for this study, displayed multiple untrustworthy features modeled after five actual Internet drug sellers which the authors considered to be potentially dangerous to consumers. The websites had none of the safe pharmacy signs and nearly all of the danger signs specified in the Food and Drug Administration´s (FDA´s) guide to consumers. Participants were told that a neighborhood pharmacy charged US$165 for a one-month supply of Beozine, a bogus drug to ensure no pre-existing knowledge. After checking its price at two Internet pharmacies—$37.99 in pharmacy A and $57.60 in pharmacy B—the respondents were asked to indicate if each seller was a good place to buy the drug. Responses came from 1,914 undergraduate students who completed an online eHealth literacy assessment in 2005-2008. Participation rate was 78%.
In response to "On a scale from 0-10, how good is this pharmacy as a place for buying Beozine?" many respondents gave favorable ratings. Specifically, 50% of students who reviewed pharmacy A and 37% of students who reviewed pharmacy B chose a rating above the scale midpoint. When explaining a low drug cost, these raters related it to low operation costs, ad revenue, pressure to lower costs due to comparison shopping, and/or high sales volume. Those who said that pharmacy A or B was "a very bad place" for purchasing the drug (25%), as defined by a score of 1 or less, related low drug cost to lack of regulation, low drug quality, and/or customer information sales. About 16% of students thought that people should be advised to buy cheaper drugs at pharmacies such as these but the majority (62%) suggested that people should be warned against buying drugs from such internet sellers. Over 22% of respondents would recommend pharmacy A to friends and family (10% pharmacy B). One-third of participants supplied online health information to others for decision-making purposes. After controlling for the effects of education, health major, and age, these respondents had significantly worse judgment of Internet pharmacies than those who did not act as information suppliers.
At least a quarter of students, including those in health programs, cannot see multiple signs of danger displayed by rogue Internet pharmacies. Many more are likely to be misled by online sellers that use professional design, veil untrustworthy features, and mimic reputable websites. Online health information consumers would benefit from education initiatives that (1) communicate why it can be dangerous to buy medications online and that (2) develop their information evaluation skills. This study highlights the importance of regulating rogue Internet pharmacies and curbing the danger they pose to consumers.
skill assessment,; health literacy; eHealth; health information skills; Internet pharmacies; counterfeit pharmaceuticals; cyberdrugs; cyberpharmacies
Objectives. To identify reasons for inclusion of international practice experiences in pharmacy curricula and to understand the related structure, benefits, and challenges related to the programs.
Methods. A convenience sample of 20 colleges and schools of pharmacy in the United States with international pharmacy education programs was used. Telephone interviews were conducted by 2 study investigators.
Results. University values and strategic planning were among key driving forces in the development of programs. Global awareness and cultural competency requirements added impetus to program development. Participants’ advice for creating an international practice experience program included an emphasis on the value of working with university health professions programs and established travel programs.
Conclusion. Despite challenges, colleges and schools of pharmacy value the importance of international pharmacy education for pharmacy students as it increases global awareness of health needs and cultural competencies.
global health; international education; pharmacy education; international practice experience; curriculum
Canadian Pharmacists are easy to reach. Although Québec pharmacists are not allowed to administer vaccines, they can: (1) promote vaccination, (2) counsel patients on vaccination, (3) sell vaccines and (4) provide vaccine administration by a nurse. Our objectives were to describe immunization services given in Québec pharmacies and assess the potential relation between, on one hand, pharmacy characteristics and difficulties perceived by pharmacists and, on the other hand, vaccine administration. In 2008–09, an anonymous questionnaire was mailed to all Québec pharmacy owners (n = 1663). Among the 1102 (66%) respondents, 90% stated that vaccines were sold, 27% that a nurse administered vaccines in their pharmacy and 44% were planning to offer vaccine administration in the next five years. Three out of four stated they were doing vaccine promotion and 65%, vaccine counselling. Half of respondents said they would be willing to administer vaccines themselves if legislative modifications were made. Recommendations for cold chain maintenance were followed in 23% of pharmacies selling vaccines. Presence of another health professional in the pharmacy, higher number of opening hours, not being located in the same building than a medical clinic and having an agreement to collaborate with a public health unit or a medical clinic for immunization were positively associated with vaccine administration in multivariate analysis. Higher perceived difficulties with lack of demand from patients were negatively associated with vaccine administration. Most pharmacists are willing to increase their involvement in immunization. Collaboration between public health professionals and pharmacists should be reinforced.
accessibility; cold chain; organization; pharmacists; vaccination
The Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy is the newest professional school to be established in the State of Hawai‘i. The College is based at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo, but faculty and students are located and practice on every major island. The mission of the College is to serve the entire Pacific Region. Having reached a respectable level of maturity over the past few years, we are now pleased to announce a partnership that has been established with the Hawai‘i Journal of Medicine & Public Health. With Dr. Carolyn Ma serving as column editor and coordinator, our main objective is for faculty and affiliates of the College to provide communications of contemporary interest in the field of professional pharmacy. Since academic pharmacy is new to the State, this inaugural article (Part 1) describes a brief history of the profession leading up to the founding of the Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy. An article describing the mission, vision, and infrastructure of the College, as well as some objectives and accomplishments will follow this inaugural column. The pharmacist is an integral member of the health care team with unique expertise in pharmaceutical care. The topics we present should be of broad interest to the readership of this journal but, additionally, any suggestions for specialized topics in our realm of expertise are welcome.
To determine support of in-pharmacy HIV-testing among pharmacy staff and the individual-level characteristics associated with in-pharmacy HIV testing support.
Descriptive, nonexperimental, cross-sectional study.
New York City (NYC) during January 2008 to March 2009.
131 pharmacies registered in the Expanded Syringe Access Program (ESAP) completed a survey.
480 pharmacy staff, including pharmacists, owners/managers, and technicians/clerks.
Main outcome measures
Support of in-pharmacy HIV testing.
Support of in-pharmacy HIV testing is high among pharmacy staff (79.4%). Pharmacy staff that supported in-pharmacy vaccinations were significantly more likely to support in-pharmacy HIV testing. Pharmacy staff that think that selling syringes to IDUs causes the community to be littered with dirty syringes were significantly less likely to support in-pharmacy HIV testing.
Support for in-pharmacy HIV testing is high among our sample of ESAP pharmacy staff actively involved in non-prescription syringe sales. These findings suggest that active ESAP pharmacy staff may be amenable to providing HIV counseling and testing to injection drug users and warrants further investigation.
Injection drug users; HIV testing; pharmacy services; New York City
Objectives. To examine the interest of pharmacy students in international study, the demographic factors and involvement characteristics associated with that interest, and the perceived advantages and barriers of engaging in international opportunities during pharmacy school.
Methods. A self-administered electronic survey instrument was distributed to first-, second-, and third-year pharmacy students at the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy.
Results. There were 192 total respondents, for a response rate of 50.9%. Seventy-two percent reported interest in international study. Previous international study experience (p=0.001), previous international travel experience (p=0.002), year in pharmacy school (p=0.03), level of academic involvement (p<0.001), and level of diversity involvement (p<0.001) were associated with international study interest. Positive influences to international study included desire to travel and availability of scholarships. Perceived barriers included an inability to pay expenses and lack of foreign language knowledge.
Conclusions. The needs and interests of pharmacy students should be considered in the development and expansion of internationalization programs in order to effectively optimize global partnerships and available international experiences. Colleges and schools of pharmacy should engage students early in the curriculum when interest in study-abroad opportunities is highest and seek to alleviate concerns about expenses as a primary influence on study-abroad decisions through provision of financial assistance.
study abroad; curriculum; international education
OBJECTIVE: To model the bargaining power of pharmacies and insurers in price negotiations and test whether it varies with characteristics of the pharmacy, insurer, and pharmacy market. DATA SOURCES/STUDY SETTING: Data from four sources. Pharmacy/insurer transactions were taken from Medstat's universe of 6.8 million pharmacy claims in their 1994 Marketscan database. Sources Informatics, Inc. supplied a three-digit zip code-level summary database containing pharmacy payments and self-reported costs for retail (cash-paying) customers for the top 200 pharmaceutical products by prescription size in 1994. The National Council of Prescription Drug Programs supplied their 1994 pharmacy database. Zip code-level socioeconomic and commercial information was taken from Bureau of the Census' 1990 Summary Tape File 3B and 1994 Zip Code Business Patterns database. STUDY DESIGN: The provider/insurer bargaining model first employed in Brooks, Dor, and Wong (1997, 1998) was adapted to the circumstances surrounding pharmacy and insurer bargaining. DATA COLLECTION/EXTRACTION METHODS: The units of observation in this study were single Medstat claims for each unique insurer/pharmacy combination in the database for selected pharmaceutical products. The four products selected varied in the conditions they treat, whether they are used to treat chronic or acute conditions, and by their sales volume. Used in the analysis were 9,758 Zantac, 2,681 Humulin, 3,437 Mevacor, and 1,860 Dilantin observations. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We find statistically significant variation in pharmacy bargaining power. Pharmacy bargaining power varies significantly across markets, insurers, and pharmacy types. With respect to market structure, pharmacy bargaining power is negatively related to pharmacies per capita and pharmacies per employer and positively related to pharmacy concentration at higher concentration levels. In addition, the higher the percentage of independent pharmacies in an area, the lower the pharmacy bargaining power. With respect to socioeconomic conditions, pharmacy bargaining power is higher in areas with lower per capita income and higher rates of public assistance. CONCLUSIONS: The bargaining power of pharmacies in contract negotiations with insurers varies considerably with exogenous factors. Local area pharmacy ownership concentration enhances pharmacy bargaining. As a result, anti-trust law prohibiting the collective bargaining of independent pharmacies with insurers leaves independents at a disadvantage with respect to chains.
In England and Wales, the Department of Health introduced a primary prevention programme, NHS Health Checks, to provide screening for cardiovascular risk amongst people aged 40-74. The aim of this programme is to offer treatment and advice to those identified with an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVD).
The North East of England has some of the highest rates of CVD in the UK and prevention is therefore a priority. NHS Tees funded this programme of work under the local branding of Healthy Heart Checks (HHC). These were initially implemented principally through GP practices from October 2008 but, in order to mitigate the possibility that some hard to reach communities would be reluctant to engage with some primary care settings, plans were also developed to deliver the programme through workplace settings and through community pharmacies. This paper reports specifically on the findings from the evaluation in respect of the setting up of HHCs in community pharmacies and aims to offer some lessons for other service settings where this option is seen as a way of providing low threshold services which will minimise inequalities in intervention uptake.
In assessing the community pharmacy component of HHCs, a selection of staff having direct involvement in the process was invited to take part in the evaluation. Interviews were carried out with representatives from community pharmacy, staff members from the commissioning Primary Care Trusts and with Local Pharmaceutical Committee members.
Evaluation and analysis identified challenges which should be anticipated and addressed in initiating HHC in community pharmacies. These have been categorised into four main themes for discussion in this paper: (1) establishing and maintaining pharmacy Healthy Heart Checks, (2) overcoming IT barriers, (3) developing confident, competent staff and (4) ensuring volume and through flow in pharmacy.
Delivering NHS health checks through community pharmacies can be a complex process, requiring meticulous planning, and may incur higher than expected costs. Findings from our evaluation provide insight into possible barriers to setting up services in pharmacies which may help other commissioning bodies when considering community pharmacy as a location for primary prevention interventions in future.
To determine the availability of experiential learning opportunities in culturally diverse areas and to identify opportunities and barriers to attract and sustain sites for the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy.
Utilizing variables of census tract income, racial/ethnicity composition and crime index, data analyses included descriptive statistics and multivariate logistic regression. Faculty members involved in experiential education were interviewed to identify other factors influencing site placement and selection for community-based advanced pharmacy practice experiences (APPEs).
Median family income and Asian population were significantly higher and black population was significantly lower in census tracts with community APPE sites than in census tracts without APPE sites (p < 0.05). No significant differences were found in the population variables of white and Latino populations and crime index. The Asian population variable was the only significant predictor of an APPE site (p = 0.0148) when controlling for other variables. Distance from the College, pharmacy staffing issues, goodwill, influence of district and corporate managers, and strategic initiatives were critical considerations in site establishment and overall sustainability.
Advanced community pharmacy practice sites were fairly well distributed across metropolitan Chicago, indicating that exposure to diverse populations during the advanced community practice experiences parallels with strategic College objectives of expanding and diversifying experiential sites to enhance pharmacy students' abilities to meet emerging patient care challenges and opportunities.
experiential education; advanced pharmacy practice experiences; community pharmacy; students; cultural diversity
To describe the education, research, practice, and policy related to pharmacist interventions to improve medication adherence in community settings in the United States.
Authors used MEDLINE and International Pharmaceutical Abstracts (since 1990) to identify community and ambulatory pharmacy intervention studies which aimed to improve medication adherence. The authors also searched the primary literature using Ovid to identify studies related to the pharmacy teaching of medication adherence. The bibliographies of relevant studies were reviewed in order to identify additional literature. We searched the tables of content of three US pharmacy education journals and reviewed the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy website for materials on teaching adherence principles. Policies related to medication adherence were identified based on what was commonly known to the authors from professional experience, attendance at professional meetings, and pharmacy journals.
Research and Practice: 29 studies were identified: 18 randomized controlled trials; 3 prospective cohort studies; 2 retrospective cohort studies; 5 case-controlled studies; and one other study. There was considerable variability in types of interventions and use of adherence measures. Many of the interventions were completed by pharmacists with advanced clinical backgrounds and not typical of pharmacists in community settings. The positive intervention effects had either decreased or not been sustained after interventions were removed. Although not formally assessed, in general, the average community pharmacy did not routinely assess and/or intervene on medication adherence.
National pharmacy education groups support the need for pharmacists to learn and use adherence-related skills. Educational efforts involving adherence have focused on students’ awareness of adherence barriers and communication skills needed to engage patients in behavioral change.
Several changes in pharmacy practice and national legislation have provided pharmacists opportunities to intervene and monitor medication adherence. Some of these changes have involved the use of technologies and provision of specialized services to improve adherence.
Researchers and practitioners need to evaluate feasible and sustainable models for pharmacists in community settings to consistently and efficiently help patients better use their medications and improve their health outcomes.
Medication Adherence; Pharmacists; Education; Pharmacy; United States
OBJECTIVE: To break the link between drug use and the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), in 1992 the state of Connecticut rescinded a 14-year ban on pharmacy sales of syringes without a physician's prescription. In 1993, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) evaluated the impact of the new legislation on access to syringes among injecting drug users (IDUs) and found an initial pattern of expanded access. However, it also found that some pharmacies, after negative experiences with IDU customers, reverted to requiring a prescription. This chapter reports findings from a four-year follow-up study of current IDU access to over-the-counter (OTC) pharmacy syringes in Hartford, Connecticut. METHODS: Through structured interviews, brief telephone interviews, and mailed surveys, data on nonprescription syringe sale practices were collected on 27 pharmacies, including 18 of the 21 pharmacies in Hartford and none from pharmacies in contiguous towns, during June and July 1997. Interview data on pharmacy syringe purchase from two sample of IDUs, a group of out-of-treatment injectors recruited through street outreach, and a sample of users of the Hartford Needle Exchange Program, also are reported. RESULTS: The study found that, while market trends as well as negative experiences have further limited pharmacy availability of nonprescription syringes, pharmacies remain an important source of sterile syringes for IDUs. However, the distribution of access in not even; in some areas of the city it is much easier to purchase nonprescription syringes than in other. All of the seven pharmacies located on the north end of Hartford reported that they had a policy of selling OTC syringes, whereas only six (54.5%) of the II pharmacies located on the south end have such a policy. Overt racial discrimination was not found to be a barrier to OTC access to syringes. CONCLUSIONS: To further decrease acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) risk among IDUs, there is a need for public education to counter empirically unsupported stereotypes about IDUs that diminish their access to health care and AIDS prevention resources and services. In states or cities where pharmacy sale of nonprescription syringes is illegal, policy makers should examine the benefits of removing existing barriers to sterile syringe acquisition. In cases in which pharmacy sale of nonprescription syringes is legal, local health departments should implement educational programs to inform pharmacy staff and management about the critically important role low-cost (or cost-free), sterile syringe access can play in HIV prevention.