Patient non-adherence to medicines represents a significant waste of health resource and lost opportunity for health gain. Medicine management services are a key health policy strategy to encourage patients to take medicines as they are prescribed. One such service is the English Medicines Use Review (MUR) which is an NHS-funded community pharmacy service involving a patient-pharmacist consultation aiming to improve patients’ knowledge of medicines and their use. To date the evidence for MURs to improve patient health outcomes is equivocal and GPs are reported to be sceptical about the value of the service. This paper presents the patient’s perspective of the MUR service and focuses on the importance of GP-pharmacist collaboration for patient care. Suggestions on how MURs may have value to GPs through the delivery of increased patient benefit are discussed.
A qualitative study involving ten weeks of ethnographic observations in two English community pharmacies. Observations were made of all pharmacy activities including patient-pharmacist MUR consultations. Subsequent interviews with these patients were conducted to explore their experience of the service. Interviews with the pharmacy staff were conducted after the period of observations. A thematic approach was used to analyse the data.
Fifty-four patients agreed to have their MUR observed of which thirty-four were interviewed. Seventeen pharmacy staff were also interviewed. Patients reported positive views about MURs. However, there was little evidence suggesting that pharmacists and GPs were working collaboratively or communicating outcomes resulting from MURs. MURs were conducted in isolation from other aspects of patient care. Patients considered GPs to have authority over medicines making a few wary that MURs had the potential to cause tensions between these professionals and possibly adversely affect their own relationship with their doctor.
This study reveals the potential for effective GP-pharmacist collaboration to improve the capacity of the MUR service to support patient medicine taking. Closer collaboration between GPs and pharmacists could potentially improve patients’ use of medicines and associated health care outcomes. The current lack of such collaboration constitutes a missed opportunity for pharmacists and GPs to work together with patients to improve effective prescribing and optimise patient use of medicines.
Adherence; Community pharmacy; Cooperative behaviour; General practitioners; Medicines Use Reviews; Patients; Pharmacists
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
Expanded pharmacist prescribing is a new professional practice area for pharmacists. Currently, Australian pharmacists’ prescribing role is limited to over-the-counter medications. This review aims to identify Australian studies involving the area of expanded pharmacist prescribing. Australian studies exploring the issues of pharmacist prescribing were identified and considered in the context of its implementation internationally. Australian studies have mainly focused on the attitudes of community and hospital pharmacists towards such an expansion. Studies evaluating the views of Australian consumers and pharmacy clients were also considered. The available Australian literature indicated support from pharmacists and pharmacy clients for an expanded pharmacist prescribing role, with preference for doctors retaining a primary role in diagnosis. Australian pharmacists and pharmacy client’s views were also in agreement in terms of other key issues surrounding expanded pharmacist prescribing. These included the nature of an expanded prescribing model, the need for additional training for pharmacists and the potential for pharmacy clients gaining improved medication access, which could be achieved within an expanded role that pharmacists could provide. Current evidence from studies conducted in Australia provides valuable insight to relevant policymakers on the issue of pharmacist prescribing in order to move the agenda of pharmacist prescribing forwards.
Pharmacist prescribing; Australia; pharmacy clients; Australian pharmacy; non-medical prescribing
Objective. To assess health care providers’ perceptions of student pharmacists involved as members of a general medicine team.
Methods. A brief, anonymous, online survey instrument was distributed to 134 health care providers at 4 major medical centers in Massachusetts who interacted with Northeastern University student pharmacists during inpatient general medicine advanced pharmacy practice experiences beginning in March 2011. The survey instrument assessed health care provider perception of student pharmacists’ involvement, preparedness, clinical skills, and therapeutic recommendations.
Results. Of the 79 providers who responded, 96.2% reported that student pharmacists were prepared for medical rounds and 87.3% reported that student pharmacists were active participants in patient care. Also, 94.9% and 98.7% of providers indicated that student pharmacist recommendations were appropriate and accurate, respectively. The majority (61.8%) of providers believed that student pharmacist involvement on internal medicine teams was beneficial.
Conclusions. Provider perceptions regarding student pharmacist participation on general medicine practice experiences were mostly positive.
experiential education; perception; pharmacy; student pharmacist
In recent years, the focus of pharmacists as traditional drug dispensers has shifted to more active and participative role in risk assessment, risk management, and other medication related consultation activities. Pharmacy profession is evolving steadily in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Pharmacists in UAE are so much occupied in their administrative and managerial duties that dispensing is mostly attended to by pharmacy technicians. Pharmacist-led patient counseling is limited to the dosage and frequency of medications and rarely adverse reactions and drug interactions with other medications. Therefore we decided to perform quantitative questionnaires study to explore the role of pharmacist in patient counseling in UAE, the evaluation of pharmacist's opinion on patient counseling and the potential determinants of personal consultation. Results show the frequency and nature of inquiries received by pharmacist. Five to twenty inquires per month are received from patient, most of them related to drug prescription and dose recommendation. Thirty nine percent of pharmacists received inquiries from doctors, most of them related to the dose and mode of action. Ninty two percent of the pharmacists agreed that patient counseling is their professional responsibility. About 82% of pharmacists agreed that counseling will increase their sales and enhance the reputation of their pharmacies. Seventy percent of pharmacists mentioned that they need to undergo training for effective counseling while 46% of pharmacists felt that more staff in the pharmacies would have a positive influence on patient compliance to medication therapies and patient safety. The potential determinants of personal consultation show that 52% of participants trusted pharmacist and 55% considered the pharmacist as a friend. Forty eight percent of participants visited the pharmacy for medical recommendation while 30% for drug compounding, 72% agreed that pharmacist conducts full instruction while 31% agreed about full investigation. In conclusion, reorganization of the pharmacist's activities may improve pharmaceutical consultations. Pharmacists must be exposed to recent trends in drug therapy, dosage forms, dosage, adverse effects and interaction. This will go a long way in providing rational use of drugs to the patients and improve their quality of life.
Attitudes and behaviors; community pharmacists; patient counseling; patient information leaflets; personal consultation
To determine the individual- and neighborhood-level predictors of frequent non-prescription in-pharmacy counseling.
130 pharmacies registered in the Expanded Syringe Access Program (ESAP) in New York City.
477 pharmacists, non-pharmacist owner/managers, and technicians/clerks.
Main outcome measures
Frequent counseling on medical conditions, health insurance, and other products.
Technicians were less likely than pharmacists to provide frequent counseling on medical conditions or health insurance. In terms of neighborhood-level characteristics, pharmacies in areas of high employment disability were less likely to provide frequent health insurance counseling and pharmacies in areas with higher deprivation were more likely to provide counseling on other products.
ESAP pharmacy staff is a frequent source of non-prescription counseling for their patients/customers in disadvantaged neighborhoods of NYC. These findings suggest that ESAP pharmacy staff may be amenable to providing relevant counseling services to injection drug using syringe customers and warrants further investigation.
Expanded Syringe Access Program; in-pharmacy counseling; injection drug users; expanded services; New York City
The purpose of this study was to validate previously published satisfaction scales in larger and more diversified patient populations; to expand the number of community pharmacies represented; to test the robustness of satisfaction measures across a broader demographic spectrum and a variety of health conditions; to confirm the three-factor scale structure; to test the relationships between satisfaction and consultation practices involving pharmacists and pharmacy students; and to examine service gaps and establish plausible norms.
Patients completed a 15-question survey about their expectations regarding pharmaceutical care-related activities while shopping in any pharmacy and a parallel 15 questions about their experiences while shopping in this particular pharmacy. The survey also collected information regarding pharmaceutical care consultation received by the patients and brief demographic data.
A total of 628 patients from 55 pharmacies completed the survey. The pilot study’s three-factor satisfaction structure was confirmed. Overall, satisfaction measures did not differ by demographics or medical condition, but there were strong and significant store-to-store differences and consultation practice advantages when pharmacists or pharmacists-plus-students participated, but not for consultations with students alone.
Patient satisfaction can be reliably measured by surveys structured around pharmaceutical care activities. The introduction of pharmaceutical care in pharmacies improves patient satisfaction. Service gap details indicated that pharmacy managers need to pay closer attention to various consultative activities involving patients and doctors.
patient expectations; patient experiences; advanced pharmacy practice experience; medication management
Standards of practice have been developed by the pharmacy profession to address the provision of non‐prescription medicines, using a consumer‐focused and risk management approach. The application of these standards in Australian community pharmacies has been monitored since 2002 by the Quality Care Pharmacy Support Centre (QCPSC).
Between September 2002 and September 2005, 7785 standards maintenance assessment visits were conducted in 4282 pharmacies, using pseudo‐patient methodology. 1909 were symptom‐based requests (SBRs) and 5876 were direct product‐based requests (DPRs), of which 2864 were for pharmacist‐only medicines (POMs) and 3012 were for pharmacy medicines (PMs). 2756 pharmacies received two visits, and 747 received three visits. A pharmacy's performance was scored out of 10 at each visit (scores 0–3: “unsatisfactory”; 4–6: “satisfactory”; and 7–10: “excellent”).
There was wide variation in performance at baseline, with 1453 (34%) of pharmacies scoring ⩽3, 1851 (43%) scoring 4–6, and 978 (23%) scoring 7–10. Significant improvement was seen over time (p<0.001), the mean score increasing by 5% from 4.4 (2.6) at visit 1 to 4.9 (2.6) at visit 2, and by 10% to 5.4 (2.6) at visit 3. Subanalyses to control for the effect of scenario type and medicine type showed that performance was higher for SBRs than DPRs, but the latter showed greater improvements over time.
Repeated pseudo‐patient visits lead to notable improvement in behaviour in the handling of non‐prescription medicines in community pharmacies. A range of factors need to be considered when measuring these behaviours, such as scenario or medicine type, as they have considerable influence on performance. Future research should focus on issues of quality control, to better understand what makes some pharmacies perform satisfactorily and others unsatisfactorily, and what is required to shift performance from “satisfactory” to “excellent”.
Interventions made by pharmacists to resolve issues when filling a prescription ensure the quality, safety, and efficacy of medication therapy for patients. The purpose of this study was to provide a current estimate of the number and types of interventions performed by community pharmacists during processing of prescriptions. This baseline data will provide insight into the factors influencing current practice and areas where pharmacists can redefine and expand their role.
Patients and methods
A cross-sectional study of community pharmacist interventions was completed. Participants included third-year pharmacy students and their pharmacist preceptor as a data collection team. The team identified all interventions on prescriptions during the hours worked together over a 7-day consecutive period. Full ethics approval was obtained.
Nine student–pharmacist pairs submitted data from nine pharmacies in rural (n = 3) and urban (n = 6) centers. A total of 125 interventions were documented for 106 patients, with a mean intervention rate of 2.8%. The patients were 48% male, were mostly ≥18 years of age (94%), and 86% had either public or private insurance. Over three-quarters of the interventions (77%) were on new prescriptions. The top four types of problems requiring intervention were related to prescription insurance coverage (18%), drug product not available (16%), dosage too low (16%), and missing prescription information (15%). The prescriber was contacted for 69% of the interventions. Seventy-two percent of prescriptions were changed and by the end of the data collection period, 89% of the problems were resolved.
Community pharmacists are impacting the care of patients by identifying and resolving problems with prescriptions. Many of the issues identified in this study were related to correcting administrative or technical issues, potentially limiting the time pharmacists can spend on patient-focused activities.
pharmaceutical care; pharmacy; medications; Canada; prescriptions; drug-related problems
To enhance students' learning and confidence in their abilities to provide wellness screenings and disease counseling.
An experiential rotation was implemented in January 2004 within the Center for Pharmacy Care, a pharmacist-coordinated, University-based wellness center that offers preventive health screenings, risk assessments, patient education, medication and lifestyle counseling, educational seminars, and referral for common health conditions, such as hypertension, diabetes and osteoporosis.
A brief survey instrument consisting of both open-ended questions and ratings of perceived abilities and confidence to provide screening and counseling was administered to students prior to and upon completion of the experience. Results of the survey indicate that the experience significantly enhanced students' preparedness and confidence to conduct community-based wellness screenings.
Students gained confidence in implementing and conducting wellness programs and became motivated to incorporate such programs into their future practice. This experience can serve as a teaching model for other programs to achieve student conpetencies in helath promotion and disease prevention.
experiential education; wellness
Methods used to deliver and test a pharmacy-based asthma care telephonic service for an underserved, rural patient population are described.
In a randomized controlled trial (RCT), the Patient And phaRmacist Telephonic Encounters (PARTE) project is assessing the feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary impact of providing pharmacy-based asthma care service telephonically. The target audience is a low income patient population across a large geographic area served by a federally qualified community health center. Ninety-eight participants have been randomized to either standard care or the intervention group who received consultation and direct feedback from pharmacists via telephone regarding their asthma self-management and medication use. Pharmacists used a counseling framework that incorporates the Indian Health Services 3 Prime Questions and the RIM Technique (Recognition, Identification, and Management) for managing medication use problems. Pharmacists encouraged patients to be active partners in the decision-making process to identify and address the underlying cause of medication use problems. Uniquely, this trial collected process and summative data using qualitative and quantitative approaches. Pharmacists’ training, the fidelity and quality of pharmacists’ service delivery, and short term patient outcomes are being evaluated. This evaluation will improve our ability to address research challenges and intervention barriers, refine staff training, explore patient perspectives, and evaluate measures’ power to provide preliminary patient outcome findings.
A mixed method evaluation of a structured pharmacist intervention has the potential to offer insights regarding staff training, service fidelity and short term outcomes using quantitative and qualitative data in an RCT. Results will provide evidence regarding the feasibility and quality of carrying out the study and service delivery from the multiple perspectives of participants, clinicians, and researchers.
patient-pharmacist communication; asthma; telepharmacy
In the last decades, the provision of pharmaceutical care by community pharmacists has developed in OECD countries. These developments involved significant changes in professional practices and organization of primary care. In France, they have recently been encouraged by a new legal framework and favored by an increasing demand for health care (increase in the number of patients with chronic diseases) and reductions in services being offered (reduction in the number of general practitioners and huge regional disparities).
Objectives: This study aimed to investigate final-year pharmacy students' opinions on 1/expanding the scope of pharmacists' practices and 2/the potential barriers for the implementation of pharmaceutical care. We discussed these in the light of the experiences of pharmacists in Quebec, and other countries in Europe (United Kingdom and the Netherlands).
All final-year students in pharmaceutical studies, preparing to become community pharmacists, at the University Paris-Descartes in Paris during 2010 (n = 146) were recruited. All of them were interviewed by means of a questionnaire describing nine "professional" practices by pharmacists, arranged in four dimensions: (1) screening and chronic disease management, (2) medication surveillance, (3) pharmacy-prescribed medication and (4) participation in health care networks. Respondents were asked (1) how positively they view the extension of their current practices, using a 5 point Likert scale and (2) their perception of potential professional, technical, organizational and/or financial obstacles to developing these practices.
143 (97.9%) students completed the questionnaire. Most of practices studied received a greater than 80% approval rating, although only a third of respondents were in favor of the sales of over-the-counter (OTC) drugs. The most significant perceived barriers were working time, remuneration and organizational problems, specifically the need to create a physical location for consultations to respect patients' privacy within a pharmacy.
Despite remaining barriers to cross, this study showed that future French pharmacists were keen to develop their role in patient care, beyond the traditional role of dispensing. However, the willingness of doctors and patients to consent should be investigated and also rigorous studies to support or refute the positive impact of pharmaceutical care on the quality of care should be carried out.
The pressures driving the need for an expanded practice scope in community pharmacy have been building for the past 2 decades. Many pharmacists have chosen to embrace the pharmaceutical care model in their practice sites to meet patient and healthcare system needs. The potential for medication therapy management (MTM) services provide an additional career opportunity for pharmacy graduates. Colleges of pharmacy offer advanced pharmacy practice experiences (APPEs) in the community setting that are designed to prepare students for these opportunities. These sites provide students with the opportunity to observe the integration of pharmaceutical care activities into community practice. Although developing an APPE site is challenging, serving as a preceptor benefits the students, the site, and the patients served. Therefore, colleges of pharmacy and community pharmacists are collaborating to increase the number of APPE sites to prepare pharmacy students for practice today and tomorrow.
curriculum; advanced pharmacy practice experience; community pharmacy; preceptor
Community pharmacies in Nepal serve both rural and urban populations and are an integral part of the Nepalese healthcare system. These community pharmacies are run by non-pharmacist professionals with orientation training on pharmacology and drug dispensing. Graduate pharmacists’ involvement in community pharmacy will help with patient counselling, dispensing of medication and promotion of safe and appropriate medicine use. Nepal has an organised pharmacovigilance system which incorporates adverse drug reaction (ADRs) from hospitals and tertiary care centres but not from the community. Involvement of pharmacists in community pharmacy will help in ADR reporting and, monitoring at community level and will help in promoting medication safety in the community. This article describes the community pharmacovigilance program in Nepal and the prospects for community pharmacists.
Community Pharmacy; Adverse Drug Reaction; Pharmacist; Nepal
Background: While pharmacists are trained in the selection and management of prescription medicines, traditionally their role in prescribing has been limited. In the past 5 years, many provinces have expanded the pharmacy scope of practice. However, there has been no previous systematic investigation and comparison of these policies.
Methods: We performed a comprehensive policy review and comparison of pharmacist prescribing policies in Canadian provinces in August 2010. Our review focused on documents, regulations and interviews with officials from the relevant government and professional bodies. We focused on policies that allowed community pharmacists to independently continue, adapt (modify) and initiate prescriptions.
Results: Pharmacists could independently prescribe in 7 of 10 provinces, including continuing existing prescriptions (7 provinces), adapting existing prescriptions (4 provinces) and initiating new prescriptions (3 provinces). However, there was significant heterogeneity between provinces in the rules governing each function.
Conclusions: The legislated ability of pharmacists to independently prescribe in a community setting has substantially increased in Canada over the past 5 years and looks poised to expand further in the near future. Moving forward, these programs must be evaluated and compared on issues such as patient outcomes and safety, professional development, human resources and reimbursement.
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
OBJECTIVE: To determine whether listings of current medications obtained from the office file of patients' attending physicians and the pharmacy record of patients' dispensing pharmacists corresponded to the actual use of medications in a group of non-institutionalized seniors residing in rural communities. DESIGN: In-home interviews followed by retrospective office chart and pharmacy database reviews. SETTING: Two rural communities in southern Alberta with populations of less than 7000 people. PARTICIPANTS: Twenty-five patients aged 75 years or older residing in the study communities, eight family physicians, and four dispensing pharmacies. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Number of currently consumed prescription drugs, currently consumed over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, and stored or discontinued prescribed medications; knowledge of medications (prescribed, OTC, and stored) by family physicians and pharmacists; and number of prescribers or dispensing pharmacists. RESULTS: Patients took a mean of 56 prescribed medications, took a mean of 3.5 OTC medications, and had a mean of 2.0 stored or discontinued medications. Attending family physicians and primary dispensing pharmacists typically knew of only some of their patients' entire regimen of medications. CONCLUSIONS: Misinformation about medication consumption by seniors was common among health care providers. Undertaking routine medication reviews (with emphasis on OTC use), asking specific questions about actual consumption, encouraging use of one prescriber and one pharmacist, discouraging storage of discontinued medications and reducing use of medication samples should be of benefit.
To identify criteria by which patients can assess the communication skills of pharmacy students.
Potential assessment criteria were generated from 2 main sources: a literature review and a focus group discussion. A modified two-round Delphi survey was subsequently conducted with 35 professionals who were actively involved in teaching and assessing communication skills of pharmacy students to determine the importance and reliability of each criterion.
Consensus ratings identified 7 criteria that were important measures of pharmacy students' communication skills and could be reliably assessed by patients.
A modified two-round Delphi consultation survey successfully identified criteria that can be used by patients to assess the communication skills of pharmacy undergraduates. Future work will examine the feasibility of using patients as assessors of communication skills of pharmacy students, preregistration pharmacists, and qualified pharmacists.
communication; assessment; pharmacy students; patient evaluation
Recent studies have shown that pharmacists have a role in addressing antidepressant nonadherence. However, few studies have explored community pharmacists’ actual counseling practices in response to antidepressant adherence-related issues at various phases of treatment. The purpose of this study was to evaluate counseling practices of community pharmacists in response to antidepressant adherence-related issues.
A simulated patient method was used to evaluate pharmacist counseling practices in Sydney, Australia. Twenty community pharmacists received three simulated patient visits concerning antidepressant adherence-related scenarios at different phases of treatment: 1) patient receiving a first-time antidepressant prescription and hesitant to begin treatment; 2) patient perceiving lack of treatment efficacy for antidepressant after starting treatment for 2 weeks; and 3) patient wanting to discontinue antidepressant treatment after 3 months due to perceived symptom improvement. The interactions were recorded and analyzed to evaluate the content of consultations in terms of information gathering, information provision including key educational messages, and treatment recommendations.
There was variability among community pharmacists in terms of the extent and content of information gathered and provided. In scenario 1, while some key educational messages such as possible side effects and expected benefits from antidepressants were mentioned frequently, others such as the recommended length of treatment and adherence-related messages were rarely addressed. In all scenarios, about two thirds of pharmacists explored patients’ concerns about antidepressant treatment. In scenarios 2 and 3, only half of all pharmacists’ consultations involved questions to assess the patient’s medication use. The pharmacists’ main recommendation in response to the patient query was to refer the patient back to the prescribing physician.
The majority of pharmacists provided information about the risks and benefits of antidepressant treatment. However, there remains scope for improvement in community pharmacists’ counseling practice for patients on antidepressant treatment, particularly in providing key educational messages including adherence-related messages, exploring patients’ concerns, and monitoring medication adherence.
simulated patients; antidepressant medications; medication adherence; community pharmacist
To determine whether a pharmacist can effectively review repeat prescriptions through consultations with elderly patients in general practice.
Randomised controlled trial of clinical medication review by a pharmacist against normal general practice review.
Four general practices.
1188 patients aged 65 or over who were receiving at least one repeat prescription and living in the community.
Patients were invited to a consultation at which the pharmacist reviewed their medical conditions and current treatment.
Main outcome measures
Number of changes to repeat prescriptions over one year, drug costs, and use of healthcare services.
590 (97%) patients in the intervention group were reviewed compared with 233 (44%) in the control group. Patients seen by the pharmacist were more likely to have changes made to their repeat prescriptions (mean number of changes per patient 2.2 v 1.9; difference=0.31, 95% confidence interval 0.06 to 0.57; P=0.02). Monthly drug costs rose in both groups over the year, but the rise was less in the intervention group (mean difference £4.72 per 28 days, −£7.04 to −£2.41); equivalent to £61 per patient a year. Intervention patients had a smaller rise in the number of drugs prescribed (0.2 v 0.4; mean difference −0.2, −0.4 to −0.1). There was no evidence that review of treatment by the pharmacist affected practice consultation rates, outpatient consultations, hospital admissions, or death rate.
A clinical pharmacist can conduct effective consultations with elderly patients in general practice to review their drugs. Such review results in significant changes in patients' drugs and saves more than the cost of the intervention without affecting the workload of general practitioners.
What is already known on this topicReview of patients on long term drug treatment is important but is done inadequatelyEvidence from the United States shows that pharmacists can improve patient care by reviewing drug treatmentWhat this study addsConsultations with a clinical pharmacist are an effective method of reviewing the drug treatment of older patientsReview by a pharmacist results in more drug changes and lower prescribing costs than normal care plus a much higher review rateUse of healthcare services by patients is not increased
In many countries, community pharmacists can be consulted without appointment in a large number of convenient locations. They are in an ideal position to give advice to patients at the onset of low back pain and also reinforce advice given by other healthcare professionals. There is little specific information about the quality of care provided in the pharmacy for people with back pain. The main objectives of this survey were to determine the attitudes, knowledge and reported practice of English pharmacists advising people who present with acute or chronic low back pain.
A questionnaire was designed for anonymous self-completion by pharmacists attending continuing education sessions. Demographic questions were designed to allow comparison with a national pharmacy workforce survey. Attitudes were measured with the Back Beliefs Questionnaire (BBQ) and questions based on the Working Backs Scotland campaign. Questions about the treatment of back pain in the community pharmacy were written (or adapted) to reflect and characterise the nature of practice. In response to two clinical vignettes, respondents were asked to select proposals that they would recommend in practice.
335 responses from community pharmacists were analysed. Middle aged pharmacists, women, pharmacy managers and locums were over-represented compared to registration and workforce data. The mean (SD) BBQ score for the pharmacists was 31.37 (5.75), which was slightly more positive than in similar surveys of other groups. Those who had suffered from back pain seem to demonstrate more confidence (fewer negative feelings, more advice opportunities and better advice provision) in their perception of advice given in the pharmacy. Awareness of written information that could help to support practice was low. Reponses to the clinical vignettes were generally in line with the evidence base. Pharmacists expressed some caution about recommending activity. Most respondents said they would benefit from more education about back pain.
Those sampled generally expressed positive attitudes about back pain and were able to offer evidence based advice. Pharmacists may benefit from training to increase their ability and confidence to offer support for self-care in back pain. Further research would be useful to clarify the representativeness of the sample.
Background: Injection drug use and other high-risk behaviours are the cause of significant morbidity and mortality and thus have been the focus of many health promotion strategies. Community pharmacists are considered underutilized health providers and are often thought to be more accessible than other health professionals. The purpose of this review is to provide an overview of community pharmacists' practices as well as pharmacists' attitudes and identified barriers toward providing harm reduction services. We will highlight the major harm reduction services being offered through community pharmacies, as well as identify barriers to implementing these services.
Methods: A review of the literature from 1995 to 2011 was conducted using the electronic databases MEDLINE, PubMed and Scopus, encompassing pharmacists' involvement in harm reduction services. Keywords included pharmacist, harm reduction, disease prevention, health promotion, attitudes, competence and barriers. References of included articles were examined to identify further relevant literature.
Results: Pharmacists are primarily involved in providing clean needles to injection drug users, as well as opioid substitution. Pharmacists generally have a positive attitude toward providing health promotion and harm reduction programs and express some interest in increasing their role in this area. Common barriers to expanding harm reduction strategies in community pharmacists' practice include lack of time and training, insufficient remuneration, fear of attracting unruly clientele and inadequate communication between health providers.
Conclusion: As one of the most accessible health care providers, community pharmacists are in an ideal position to provide meaningful services to injection drug users. However, in order to do so, pharmacists require additional support in the form of better health team and system integration, as well as remuneration models.
Cancer drugs are high risk drugs and medication errors in their prescribing, preparation and administration have serious consequences, including death. The importance of a multidisciplinary approach and the benefits of pharmacists’ contribution to cancer treatment to minimise risk have been established. However, the impact of services provided by pharmacists to cancer patient care is poorly studied. This study explored the clinical interventions made by pharmacists in dispensing of chemotherapy doses, and evaluated pharmacists’ contribution to patient care.
Pharmacists at the Chemotherapy Preparation Unit at a tertiary cancer centre in London were shadowed by two research pharmacists during the clinical screening of chemotherapy prescriptions and release of prepared drugs. An expert panel of pharmacy staff rated the clinical significance of the recorded interventions.
Twenty-one pharmacists’ interventions were recorded during the screening or releasing of 130 prescriptions or drugs. “Drug and therapy” (38%), “clerical” (22%) and “dose, frequency and duration” (19%) related problems most often required an intervention, identifying areas in chemotherapy prescribing that need improvement. The proposed recommendations were implemented in 86% of the cases. Many recorded interventions (48%) were ranked to have had a “very significant” influence on patient care.
Clinical interventions made by pharmacists had a significant impact on patient care. The integration of pharmacists’ technical and clinical roles into dispensing of chemotherapy doses is required for providing high-quality cancer services.
pharmacy; cancer; chemotherapy; drug compounding; medication errors
>Background: OTC medicines make up an important part of the community pharmacy world. As with most aspects of practice, however, hurdles exist that prevent an optimal level of care.
Objective: To gauge pharmacist agreement on the scheduling status of various OTC medicines.
Methods: Pharmacists across Canada were surveyed by mail.
Results: Of the 5037 surveys mailed, 2403 were returned, with 2305 being usable for analysis (response rate of 49.4%). Across 25 agents, pharmacists tended to support existing control for pharmacies (such as Nix crème rinse and minoxidil topical solution) and returning control to pharmacies for unscheduled agents (such as ranitidine 75 mg tablets and nicotine patches).
Conclusions: Pharmacists generally favour tighter control of OTC agents, especially those that are unscheduled. This hopefully reflects pharmacist desire to ensure their proper selection and use.
The present study was conducted to assess the attitudes and behaviors of practicing community pharmacists towards patient counselling and use of patient information leaflets in the state of Karnataka. Convenient sampling method was adopted to collect the responses with the help of self-completion questionnaires. A total of 258 practicing community pharmacists in the age group of 22–60 y of both gender with practicing experience of 2-30 y participated in the study. Majority of respondents (80%) agreed that, patient counselling is their professional obligation. About 17% of the respondents mentioned that, they try to give basic information regarding drug usage to the patient. The reasons stated by the pharmacists to provide patient counselling were, professional satisfaction (43%), patients go with satisfaction (32%), observed increase in sales (8%), and also improved patient compliance (7.5%). The major barriers for offering patient counselling were mentioned as pharmacists' inadequate knowledge and confidence (78%), doctor dispensing (72%), no professional fee (56%), poor response from patients (82%), inadequate continuous professional development programs (75%). Many respondents agreed that, patient information leaflets certainly help in counselling but available information leaflets are company generated and prescriber focused. Many respondents found the present continuing professional development module was useful and are interested in weekend workshops to update their professional knowledge (83%). Restrictions on doctor dispensing, legalization of patient counselling, regular continuing professional development programs are the factors observed to motivate the pharmacists to offer patient counselling.
Attitudes and behaviors; community pharmacists; patient counseling; patient information leaflets