Pharmacists, with expertise in optimizing drug therapy outcomes, are valuable components of the healthcare team and are becoming increasingly involved in public health efforts. Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians in diverse community pharmacy settings can implement a variety of asthma interventions when they are brief, supported by appropriate tools, and integrated into the workflow. The Asthma Friendly Pharmacy (AFP) model addresses the challenges of providing patient-focused care in a community pharmacy setting by offering education to pharmacists and pharmacy technicians on asthma-related pharmaceutical care services, such as identifying or resolving medication-related problems; educating patients about asthma and medication-related concepts; improving communication and strengthening relationships between pharmacists, patients, and other healthcare providers; and establishing higher expectations for the pharmacist’s role in patient care and public health efforts. This article describes the feasibility of the model in an urban community pharmacy setting and documents the interventions and communication activities promoted through the AFP model.
Asthma; Community pharmacy; Pharmacists; Pharmaceutical care; Collaboration; Communication
To describe how pharmacy officers in the Commissioned Corps are making a difference in protecting, promoting, and advancing health and safety of the Nation.
Pharmacists who serve in the Commissioned Corps of the United States Public Health Service fill roles that are considerably different than their counterparts in the private sector. Their work takes them out from behind the counter and into the world. Pharmacy officers advance the health and safety of the Nation by their involvement in the delivery of direct patient care to medically underserved people, national security, drug vigilance, research and policy-making endeavors. PHS pharmacists fill essential public health leadership and service roles throughout the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and certain non-HHS federal agencies and programs. The Federal Bureau of Prisons, Health Resources and Services Administration, Food and Drug Administration, United States Coast Guard, Indian Health Service, and National Institutes of Health are among the many federal agencies where pharmacy officers are assigned.
In each setting, pharmacists find traditional roles augmented with assignments and challenges that broaden the scope of their practice.
U.S. Public Health Service; Commissioned Corps Officers; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS); non-HHS Federal agencies
Pharmacy could serve as a model for the health informationist profession proposed by Davidoff and Florance in their 2000 editorial in the Annals of Internal Medicine. The current training and practice roles for pharmacists suggest a way to prepare health sciences librarians for work with clinical health care teams. The influences that spurred the transformation of pharmacy parallel in many respects those suggesting the need for more information professionals prepared to practice in clinical health care settings. During the same decades that health sciences librarians have been debating and experimenting with new professional roles such as clinical medical librarians, pharmacy has undergone an intensive review of its core values, mission, practice roles, and educational preparation methods. Until recently, most pharmacists graduated from five-year baccalaureate programs preparing them to understand drug products, sources of supply, and effective ways to dispense them to patients as prescribed by physicians. Today, almost all pharmacy students graduate from six-year doctor of pharmacy programs that prepare them to be the primary providers of what their profession calls “pharmaceutical care.” The pharmaceutical care model suggests that health information professionals in clinical settings could be educated and trained to provide what we might call health information care.
Pharmacists play an important part in primary health care, and their accessibility is a key factor. Their NHS payments relate predominantly to the dispensing of prescribed medicines; to recognise the service element of their advisory role, an NHS funded professional fee could be built into the cost structure for pharmacy medicines. The increased number of medicines available over the counter has highlighted the need for training for counter assistants; it will become compulsory in July 1996, and some family health services authorities are providing this. The shift to care in the community could mean that pharmacists will have an even greater role in the primary health care team. Encouraging the public to seek advice from the community pharmacist may lead to a greater proportion of visits to doctors resulting from referrals from the pharmacist. Joint development by pharmacists and doctors of guidelines for advice on, and recommendation of, over the counter medicines is needed.
The increasing involvement of pharmacists in public health will require changes in the behaviour of both pharmacists and the general public. A great deal of research has shown that attitudes and beliefs are important determinants of behaviour. This review aims to examine the beliefs and attitudes of pharmacists and consumers towards pharmaceutical public health in order to inform how best to support and improve this service.
Five electronic databases were searched for articles published in English between 2001 and 2010. Titles and abstracts were screened by one researcher according to the inclusion criteria. Papers were included if they assessed pharmacy staff or consumer attitudes towards pharmaceutical public health. Full papers identified for inclusion were assessed by a second researcher and data were extracted by one researcher.
From the 5628 papers identified, 63 studies in 67 papers were included. Pharmacy staff: Most pharmacists viewed public health services as important and part of their role but secondary to medicine related roles. Pharmacists' confidence in providing public health services was on the whole average to low. Time was consistently identified as a barrier to providing public health services. Lack of an adequate counselling space, lack of demand and expectation of a negative reaction from customers were also reported by some pharmacists as barriers. A need for further training was identified in relation to a number of public health services. Consumers: Most pharmacy users had never been offered public health services by their pharmacist and did not expect to be offered. Consumers viewed pharmacists as appropriate providers of public health advice but had mixed views on the pharmacists' ability to do this. Satisfaction was found to be high in those that had experienced pharmaceutical public health
There has been little change in customer and pharmacist attitudes since reviews conducted nearly 10 years previously. In order to improve the public health services provided in community pharmacy, training must aim to increase pharmacists' confidence in providing these services. Confident, well trained pharmacists should be able to offer public health service more proactively which is likely to have a positive impact on customer attitudes and health.
An increased interest is observed in broadening community pharmacists' role in public health. To date, little information has been gathered in Canada on community pharmacists' perceptions of their role in health promotion and prevention; however, such data are essential to the development of public-health programs in community pharmacy. A cross-sectional study was therefore conducted to explore the perceptions of community pharmacists in urban and semi-urban areas regarding their ideal and actual levels of involvement in providing health-promotion and prevention services and the barriers to such involvement.
Using a five-step modified Dillman's tailored design method, a questionnaire with 28 multiple-choice or open-ended questions (11 pages plus a cover letter) was mailed to a random sample of 1,250 pharmacists out of 1,887 community pharmacists practicing in Montreal (Quebec, Canada) and surrounding areas. It included questions on pharmacists' ideal level of involvement in providing health-promotion and preventive services; which services were actually offered in their pharmacy, the employees involved, the frequency, and duration of the services; the barriers to the provision of these services in community pharmacy; their opinion regarding the most appropriate health professionals to provide them; and the characteristics of pharmacists, pharmacies and their clientele.
In all, 571 out of 1,234 (46.3%) eligible community pharmacists completed and returned the questionnaire. Most believed they should be very involved in health promotion and prevention, particularly in smoking cessation (84.3%); screening for hypertension (81.8%), diabetes (76.0%) and dyslipidemia (56.9%); and sexual health (61.7% to 89.1%); however, fewer respondents reported actually being very involved in providing such services (5.7% [lifestyle, including smoking cessation], 44.5%, 34.8%, 6.5% and 19.3%, respectively). The main barriers to the provision of these services in current practice were lack of: time (86.1%), coordination with other health care professionals (61.1%), staff or resources (57.2%), financial compensation (50.8%), and clinical tools (45.5%).
Although community pharmacists think they should play a significant role in health promotion and prevention, they recognize a wide gap between their ideal and actual levels of involvement. The efficient integration of primary-care pharmacists and pharmacies into public health cannot be envisioned without addressing important organizational barriers.
Community pharmacists; Cross-sectional study; Health promotion; Prevention; Public health
Unsafe abortion continues to be a major contributor to maternal mortality and morbidity around the world. This article examines the role of pharmacists in expanding women's access to safe medical abortion in Latin America, Africa, and Asia. Available research shows that although pharmacists and pharmacy workers often sell abortion medications to women, accurate information about how to use the medications safely and effectively is rarely offered. No publication covered effective interventions by pharmacists to expand access to medical abortion, but lessons can be learned from successful interventions with other reproductive health services. To better serve women, increasing awareness and improving training for pharmacists and pharmacy workers about unsafe abortion – and medications that can safely induce abortion – are needed.
pharmacist; pharmacy worker; pharmacy; abortion; medical abortion; reproductive health
Pharmacies are venues in which patients seek out products and professional advice in order to improve overall health. However, many pharmacies in the United States continue to sell tobacco products, which are widely known to cause detrimental health effects. This conflict presents a challenge to pharmacists, who are becoming increasingly more involved in patient health promotion activities. This study sought to assess Western New York (WNY) area pharmacists’ opinions about the sale of tobacco products in pharmacies, and pharmacists’ opinions on their role in patient smoking cessation.
Participants responded to two parallel surveys; a web-based survey was completed by 148 university-affiliated pharmacist preceptors via a list based sample, and a mail-based survey was completed by the supervising pharmacist in 120 area pharmacies via a list-based sample. The combined response rate for both surveys was 31%. Univariate and bivariate analyses were performed to determine any significant differences between the preceptor and supervising pharmacist survey groups.
Over 75% of respondents support legislation banning the sale of tobacco products in pharmacies. Over 86% of respondents would prefer to work in a pharmacy that does not sell tobacco products. Differences between preceptor and supervising pharmacist groups were observed. Action regarding counseling patients was uncommon among both groups.
Pharmacists support initiatives that increase their role in cessation counseling and initiatives that restrict the sale of tobacco products in pharmacies. These data could have important implications for communities and pharmacy practice.
Tobacco sales; Pharmacists; Preceptors; Public health policy; Survey research; Pharmacies
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
To develop and implement a new course on public health into the bachelor of pharmacy (BPharm) curriculum in Malaysia.
A required 2-credit-hour course was designed to provide an overview of public health pharmacy roles and the behavioral aspects of human healthcare issues. Graded activities included nursing home visits, in-class quizzes, mini-projects, and poster sessions, and a comprehensive final examination.
The majority of the students performed well on the class activities and 93 (71.5%) of the 130 students enrolled received a grade of B or higher. A Web-based survey was administered at the end of the semester and 90% of students indicated that they had benefited from the course and were glad that it was offered. The majority of students agreed that the course made an impact in preparing them for their future role as pharmacists and expanded their understanding of the public health roles of a pharmacist.
A public health pharmacy course was successfully designed and implemented in the BPharm curriculum. This study highlighted the feasibilities of introducing courses that are of global relevance into a Malaysian pharmacy curriculum. The findings from the students' evaluation suggest the needs to incorporate a similar course in all pharmacy schools in the country and will be used as a guide to improve the contents and methods of delivery of the course at our school.
public health; curriculum; Malaysia
Objective. To measure changes in pharmacy and medical students’ physician-pharmacist collaboration scores resulting from a workshop designed to promote understanding of the others’ roles in health care.
Methods. More than 88% of first-year pharmacy (n = 215) and medical (n = 205) students completed the Scale of Attitudes Toward Physician-Pharmacist Collaboration on 3 occasions in order to establish a baseline of median scores and to determine whether the scores were influenced by an interprofessional workshop.
Results. Participation in the interprofessional workshop increased pharmacy students’ collaboration scores above baseline (p=0.02) and raised the scores of medical students on the education component of the collaboration survey instrument (p=0.015). The collaboration scores of pharmacy students greatly exceeded those of medical students (p<0.0001).
Conclusion. A workshop designed to foster interprofessional understanding between pharmacy and medical students raised the physician-pharmacist collaboration scores of both. Crucial practical goals for the future include raising the collaboration scores of medical students to those of pharmacy students.
interprofessional education; interdisciplinary education; health profession students; pharmacy students; medical students; attitudes
Objectives. To determine the impact of health professions students’ participation in interprofessional activities on their knowledge of the roles of community pharmacists and community pharmacist-provided services.
Methods. Students at the Medical University of South Carolina were surveyed via a self-administered online survey tool to determine their participation in interprofessional activities as well as their knowledge of the role of community pharmacists and community pharmacist-provided services.
Results. Over 600 students completed the survey instrument. Nonpharmacy students who attended the university-sponsored Interprofessional Day were more knowledgeable of pharmacist-provided services. Previous interaction with a pharmacist increased nonpharmacy students’ awareness of the services that pharmacists provide.
Conclusion. Participation in interprofessional activities increased health professions students’ awareness of the role of pharmacists. Continued education among healthcare professions about the role of and services provided by pharmacists is needed to ensure that pharmacists have the greatest possible impact on patient care.
community pharmacy; health professions; interprofessional education
Aims and Objectives
Many natural health products (NHPs) and dietary supplements (DS) are purchased in pharmacies and it has been argued that pharmacists are in the best position to provide patients with evidence-based information about them. This study was designed to identify how the pharmacist’s role with respect to NHPs/DS is portrayed in the literature.
A systematic search was conducted in a variety of health databases to identify all literature that pertained to both pharmacy and NHPs/DS. Of the 786 articles identified, 665 were broad-coded and 259 were subjected to in-depth qualitative content analysis for emergent themes.
Overwhelmingly, support for the sale of NHPs/DS in pharmacies is strong. Additionally, a role for pharmacists in NHP/DS counselling is underscored. But another recurrent theme is that pharmacists are ill-equipped to counsel patients about these products that are available on their shelves. This situation has led some to question the ethics of pharmacists selling NHPs/DS and to highlight the existence of an ethical conflict stemming from the profit-motive associated with NHP/DS sales.
This analysis raises concerns about the ethics of NHPs/DS being sold in pharmacies, and about pharmacists being expected to counsel about products of which they have little knowledge.
PMID: 20218027 CAMSID: cams1317
The origins and advancements of pharmacy, medicinal chemistry, and drug discovery are interwoven in nature. Medicinal chemistry provides pharmacy students with a thorough understanding of drug mechanisms of action, structure-activity relationships (SAR), acid-base and physicochemical properties, and absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion, and toxicity (ADMET) profiles. A comprehensive understanding of the chemical basis of drug action equips pharmacy students with the ability to answer rationally the “why” and “how” questions related to drug action and it sets the pharmacist apart as the chemical expert among health care professionals. By imparting an exclusive knowledge base, medicinal chemistry plays a vital role in providing critical thinking and evidence-based problem-solving skills to pharmacy students, enabling them to make optimal patient-specific therapeutic decisions. This review highlights the parallel nature of the history of pharmacy and medicinal chemistry, as well as the key elements of medicinal chemistry and drug discovery that make it an indispensable component of the pharmacy curriculum.
curriculum; medicinal chemistry; history of pharmacy; drug discovery
The demand for public health services is being outpaced by a shrinking public health workforce. This creates a unique opportunity for pharmacists to become more engaged in public health activities, particularly in rural underserved areas. To meet the need for additional public health professionals, we designed a master of public health (MPH) program in a rural state under the leadership of a department of pharmacy practice. In addition to a core set of courses, the MPH program has public health specialty tracks (disease state management, emergency management, health promotion practice, infectious disease management, food safety, gerontology, and medical management and administration) that could be completed as a certificate program or used towards an MPH degree. The program allows students to complete the graduate degree with a minimum of prerequisite coursework. The MPH degree provides an opportunity for pharmacists and other health care professionals to gain an understanding of the interprofessional approach to solving public health problems and will enhance their role in public health and within their health care team.
outcomes; interprofessional; pharmacists; public health; rural health; graduate program
Pharmacists' roles are evolving from that of compounders and dispensers of medicines to that of experts on medicines within multidisciplinary health care teams. In the developing country context, the pharmacy is often the most accessible or even the sole point of access to health care advice and services.
Because of their knowledge of medicines and clinical therapeutics, pharmacists are suitably placed for task shifting in health care and could be further trained to undertake functions such as clinical management and laboratory diagnostics. Indeed, pharmacists have been shown to be willing, competent, and cost-effective providers of what the professional literature calls "pharmaceutical care interventions"; however, internationally, there is an underuse of pharmacists for patient care and public health efforts. A coordinated and multifaceted effort to advance workforce planning, training and education is needed in order to prepare an adequate number of well-trained pharmacists for such roles.
Acknowledging that health care needs can vary across geography and culture, an international group of key stakeholders in pharmacy education and global health has reached unanimous agreement that pharmacy education must be quality-driven and directed towards societal health care needs, the services required to meet those needs, the competences necessary to provide these services and the education needed to ensure those competences. Using that framework, this commentary describes the Pharmacy Education Taskforce of the World Health Organization, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and the International Pharmaceutical Federation Global Pharmacy and the Education Action Plan 2008–2010, including the foundation, domains, objectives and outcome measures, and includes several examples of current activities within this scope.
In 2003 the NIH perceived a need to strengthen teaching about tuberculosis (TB) to health professions students. The National Tuberculosis Curriculum Consortium (NTCC) was funded to meet this need. The purpose of this study was to survey students enrolled in NTCC schools prior to NTCC-developed educational materials being made available to faculty.
A self-administered survey for students in NTCC schools to establish a baseline level of knowledge, attitudes, and confidence about tuberculosis.
1480/2965 (50%) students in 28 programs in 20 NTCC schools completed the survey. If public health students are eliminated from totals (only 61 respondents of 765 public health students), the overall response proportion for the seven clinically-related disciplines was 64.5%. The majority (74%) were in schools of medicine (MD/DO), undergraduate nursing (BSN), and pharmacy (PharmD); others were in programs for physician assistants (PA), advanced practice nursing (NP/APN), respiratory therapy (RT), clinical laboratory sciences (MT/CLS), and public health (MPH). Almost 90% had attended at least one lecture about TB. Although 91.4% knew TB was transmitted via aerosols, about one-third did not know the method for administering tuberculin, or that Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine was not a contraindication to TB skin testing. Fewer than two-thirds knew that about 10% of people in the U.S.A. who have latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) and a normal immune system will develop TB disease, or that BCG is not part of the routine vaccination program in the U.S.A. because it complicates surveillance for new TB infection.
There is room for improvement in knowledge, attitudes, and confidence about TB by health professions students surveyed. The NTCC-developed educational products may be used by faculty to improve student performance to be assessed with future surveys.
Numerous studies have demonstrated the positive impacts of pharmacists on patient outcomes. To capitalize on these positive impacts, hospital pharmacy organizations around the world are now calling on pharmacists to shift their focus from distribution of medications to patient outcomes. This new emphasis is consistent with the vision statement for the profession of pharmacy in Canada, as set out in the Blueprint for Pharmacy: “Optimal drug therapy outcomes for Canadians through patient-centred care”. Given the ambitious nature of this statement and these goals, it is essential to understand what pharmacists currently think of their practice.
To conduct a qualitative and semiquantitative analysis of hospital pharmacists’ perceptions of their role in patient care.
A researcher posing as a University of Alberta student who was studying how health professionals use language to describe what they do contacted the pharmacy departments of all hospitals in Alberta. The “top-of-mind” approach was used in asking hospital pharmacists 2 questions: (1) How many years have you been practising pharmacy? (2) In 3 or 4 words (or phrases), from your perspective could you please tell me, “What does a pharmacist do”? These techniques were used to minimize the impact of social desirability bias. Content analysis was used to categorize hospital pharmacists’ responses into 4 broad categories: patient-centred, drug-focused, drug distribution, and ambiguous.
A total of 103 phone calls were made to hospital pharmacies, and 85 pharmacists contacted in this way were willing to participate in the survey. Hospital pharmacists provided 333 individual responses to the question about their activities. Of these, 79 (23.7%) were patient-centred, 98 (29.4%) were drug-focused, and 82 (24.6%) were in the drug-distribution category. Ambiguous responses accounted for the remaining 74 (22.2%).
Aspects of care categorized as other than patient-centred should not be construed as unimportant. However, the fact that they were reported in this survey more frequently than patient-centred aspects suggests that hospital pharmacists in Alberta may have not fully embraced the concept of patient-centred care as outlined in the Blueprint for Pharmacy.
patient-centred; drug-focused; drug distribution; top-of-mind approach; hospital pharmacist; pharmacy culture; pratique axée sur le patient; pratique axée sur les médicaments; distribution des médicaments; analyse des réponses spontanées; pharmacien d’hôpital; culture de la pharmacie
Pharmacy education has traditionally focused on medications and treatment of disease. However, as an accessible health care professional, pharmacists can influence healthy behaviors in their patients. Encouraging/promoting healthier lifestyles in the United States is essential because the leading causes of mortality are tobacco use, poor nutrition, and inactivity. In order to prepare pharmacists for this role, student pharmacists must be taught how to implement and deliver wellness and prevention services. Community advanced pharmacy practice experiences (APPEs) occur at an ideal point in the curriculum to engage students in these activities. This article provides preceptors with guidance and tools for restructuring the community APPE at their sites to incorporate wellness and disease prevention activities.
wellness; disease prevention; health promotion; advanced pharmacy practice experiences; community pharmacy
BACKGROUND: The National Health Service (NHS) intends to introduce a system of electronic transfer of prescription-related information between general practitioners (GPs) and community pharmacies. The NHS Plan describes how this will be achieved. AIM: To gather opinions of patients, GPs, and community pharmacists on the development of a system of electronic transfer of prescription-related information between GPs and community pharmacies. DESIGN OF STUDY: Survey combining interviews, focus groups, and postal questionnaires. SETTING: General practitioners, opinion leaders, computing experts, pharmacists, and patients. Eight hundred members of the public, 200 GPs, and 200 community pharmacists, all living in Scotland. METHOD: Content-setting interviews and focus groups were conducted with purposive samples of relevant groups. Postal questionnaires were developed and sent to random samples of members of the public selected from the electoral roll, GPs, and community pharmacists. RESULTS: The corrected postal response rates were: 69% (patients); 74% (GPs); and 74% (community pharmacists). All three groups were generally supportive of electronic transfer of prescription-related information. Different aspects appealed to each group: patients anticipated improved convenience; GPs, better repeat prescribing; and pharmacists, an enhanced professional role. Security of patient-identifiable information was the main concern. All groups acknowledged potential benefits of a full primary care information system, but GPs and patients had reservations about allowing community pharmacists to access parts of the medical record that did not concern medication. CONCLUSION: Electronic transfer of prescription-related information is likely to be acceptable to all users, but concerns about patient confidentiality and an extended role for pharmacists in prescription management need to be addressed.
To develop, implement, and assess an Internet-based vidcasting project to promote the pharmacist's role in public health.
This was a collaborative effort for 2 different courses taught at 2 different schools of pharmacy. Faculty members created a special instructional design for students to follow in planning, producing, and publishing video public service announcements on the Internet.
Formative and summative assessments, including course examinations, a grading rubric, student survey, and focus group, were implemented to evaluate student learning and public reaction. Students believed Internet video public service announcements served as a useful reference for patients and professionals, aided in promoting disease prevention and wellness initiatives, positively impacted patient-provider relationships, and increased awareness regarding significance and financial impact of disease burden.
Producing a public health information video and vidcasting it on the Internet increased pharmacy students' self-esteem, respect for peers, creative and critical-thinking abilities, and understanding of the need for and importance of pharmacists providing accurate public health information.
Internet; video; public health; technology; self-care; nonprescription medication
In Canada, the education of pharmacists is built upon a foundation of strong, research-intensive publicly funded universities and a universal health-care system that balances government and private financing for prescription medications. The evolution of pharmacy education and practice in Canada has laid the foundation for a variety of emerging trends related to expanded roles for pharmacists, increasing interprofessional collaboration for patient-centered care, and emergence of pharmacy technicians as a soon-to-be regulated professional group in parts of the country. Current challenges include the need to better integrate internationally educated pharmacists within the domestic workforce and tools to ensure continuous professional development and maintenance of competency of practitioners. Academic pharmacy is currently debating how best to manage the need to enhance the pharmacy curriculum to meet current and future skills needs, and whether a doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) degree ought to become the standard entry-to-practice qualification for pharmacists in Canada.
Canada; comparative education; international pharmacy education
Harmonization of pharmacy education has to be made a global agenda that will encompass the developments that have taken place in basic, medical, pharmaceutical sciences in serving the needs and expectations of the society. The professional pharmacy curriculum is designed to produce pharmacists who have the abilities and skills to provide drug information, education, and pharmaceutical care to patients; manage the pharmacy and its medication distribution and control systems; and promote public health. Required coursework for all pharmacy students includes pharmaceutical chemistry; pharmaceutics (drug dosage forms, delivery, and disposition in the human body) pharmacology; therapeutics (the clinical use of drugs and dietary supplements in patients); drug information and analysis; pharmacy administration (including pharmacy law, bioethics, health systems, pharmacoeconomics, medical informatics); clinical skills (physical assessment, patient counseling, drug therapy monitoring for appropriate selection, dose, effect, interactions, use); and clinical pharmacy practice in pharmacies, industry, health maintenance organizations, hospital wards, and ambulatory care clinics.
Education; pharmacy curriculum; research
Despite decades of public health initiatives, tobacco use remains the leading known preventable cause of death in the United States. Clinicians have a proven, positive effect on patients’ ability to quit, and pharmacists are strategically positioned to assist patients with quitting. The American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy recognizes health promotion and disease prevention as a key educational outcome; as such, tobacco cessation education should be a required component of pharmacy curricula to ensure that all pharmacy graduates possess the requisite evidence-based knowledge and skills to intervene with patients who use tobacco. Faculty members teaching tobacco cessation-related content must be knowledgeable and proficient in providing comprehensive cessation counseling, and all preceptors and practicing pharmacists providing direct patient care should screen for tobacco use and provide at least minimal counseling as a routine component of care. Pharmacy organizations should establish policies and resolutions addressing the profession’s role in tobacco cessation and control, and the profession should work together to eliminate tobacco sales in all practice settings where pharmacy services are rendered.
academic pharmacy; policy; public health; smoking; tobacco
To determine what influenced pharmacy students to pursue a career in pharmacy and how those influences varied among different racial groups.
A 30-question survey instrument was developed and administered to doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) students at the University of Georgia and Florida A&M University. Data were analyzed to identify differences between students at different institutions and of different racial groups.
Most students were encouraged by someone to pursue pharmacy. Students cited encouragement by family members, pharmacists, and students as important influences. Work and volunteer experiences were also important influences. Few students were influenced by “career day” events.
Influences for pursuing a degree in pharmacy were remarkably similar across student groups. Public awareness campaigns that emphasize the benefits of the profession and programs that are designed to bring students into contact with the profession may be effective recruiting methods/strategies.
diversity; career choice; student recruitment