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1.  Exploring consumer and pharmacist views on the professional role of the pharmacist with respect to natural health products: a study of focus groups 
Background
Natural health products (NHPs) such as herbs, vitamins and homeopathic medicines, are currently available for sale in most Canadian pharmacies. However, most pharmacists report that they have limited knowledge about these products which have been regulated in Canada as a specific sub-category of drugs. In this paper, consumers' and practicing pharmacists' perceptions of pharmacists' professional responsibilities with respect to NHPs are examined.
Methods
A total of 16 focus groups were conducted with consumers (n = 50) and pharmacists (n = 47) from four different cities across Canada (Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto, and Halifax).
Results
In this paper, we illustrate the ways in which pharmacists' professional responsibilities are impacted by changing consumer needs. Many consumers in the study utilized a wide range of information resources that may or may not have included pharmacists. Nevertheless, the majority of consumers and pharmacists agreed that pharmacists should be knowledgeable about NHPs and felt that pharmacists should be able to manage drug-NHPs interactions as well as identify and evaluate the variety of information available to help consumers make informed decisions.
Conclusion
This paper demonstrates that consumers' expectations and behaviour significantly impact pharmacists' perceptions of their professional responsibilities with respect to NHPs.
doi:10.1186/1472-6882-8-40
PMCID: PMC2483265  PMID: 18625059
2.  U.S. and Canadian pharmacists' attitudes, knowledge, and professional practice behaviors toward dietary supplements: a systematic review 
Background
Although dietary supplements (DS) are widely sold in pharmacies, the legal, ethical, and practice responsibilities of pharmacists with respect to these products have not been well defined. This systematic review of pharmacists' attitudes, knowledge, and professional practice behaviours toward DS is intended to inform pharmacy regulators' and educators' decision making around this topic.
Methods
Eligible studies were identified through a systematic database search for all available years through to March 2006. Articles were analyzed for this review if they included survey data on U.S. or Canadian pharmacists' attitudes, knowledge, or professional practice behaviors toward DS published in 1990 or later.
Results
Due to the heterogeneity of the data, it was not possible to draw a conclusion with respect to pharmacists' general attitudes toward DS. Approximately equal numbers of pharmacists report positive as well as negative attitudes about the safety and efficacy of DS. There is strong agreement among pharmacists for the need to have additional training on DS, increased regulation of DS, and quality information on DS. In addition, survey data indicate that pharmacists do not perceive their knowledge of DS to be adequate and that pharmacists do not routinely document, monitor, or inquire about patients' use of DS. Despite this, a large proportion of pharmacists reported receiving questions about DS from patients and other health care practitioners.
Conclusion
Further research is needed to explore the factors that influence pharmacists' beliefs and attitudes about DS, to accurately evaluate pharmacists' knowledge of DS, and to uncover the reasons why pharmacists do not routinely document, monitor, or inquire about patients' use of DS.
doi:10.1186/1472-6882-6-31
PMCID: PMC1586212  PMID: 16984649
3.  Roles and Responsibilities of Pharmacists with Respect to Natural Health Products: Key Informant Interviews 
Background
Although many pharmacies sell natural health products (NHPs), there is no clear definition as to the roles and responsibilities (if any) of pharmacists with respect to these products.
Objective
The purpose of this study was to explore pharmacy and stakeholder leaders’ perceptions of pharmacists’ professional NHP roles and responsibilities.
Methods
Semi-structured key informant interviews were conducted with pharmacy leaders (n= 17) and stakeholder (n=18) leaders representing consumers, complementary and alternative medicine practitioners, conventional healthcare practitioners, and industry across Canada.
Results
Overwhelmingly all participants believed a main NHP responsibility for pharmacists was safety monitoring. One challenge identified in the interviews was pharmacists’ general lack of NHP knowledge. Stakeholder leaders did not expect pharmacists to be experts on NHPs, rather that pharmacists should have a basic level of knowledge about NHPs. Many pharmacy leaders appeared to be unfamiliar with current pharmacy policies and guidelines concerning NHPs.
Conclusion
Participants described pharmacists’ professional roles and responsibilities for NHPs as similar to those for over-the-counter drugs. More awareness of existing NHP-related pharmacy policies is needed. Pharmacy owners/managers should provide additional training to ensure front-line pharmacists have appropriate knowledge of NHPs sold in the pharmacy.
doi:10.1016/j.sapharm.2009.02.004
PMCID: PMC2923149  PMID: 20188329 CAMSID: cams1316
natural health products; pharmacists; professional roles and responsibilities
4.  Survey of Canadian Pharmacists’ Responses to Warnings of Potential Interactions Between Ceftriaxone and Calcium in IV Solutions 
Background:
In 2007, because of a potential interaction between ceftriaxone and calcium-containing IV solutions, Roche Laboratories (manufacturer of Rocephin [ceftriaxone] in the United States) issued letters to health care professionals advising them of changes to the product monograph. Subsequently, warning letters were also issued by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Health Canada. The Health Canada recommendations and their implications for clinical practice generated debate in the Canadian hospital pharmacy community.
Objective:
To evaluate the response to the warnings among hospital pharmacists and their respective institutions.
Methods:
An anonymous, voluntary 10-question survey was distributed to members of the Pharmacy Specialty Networks of the Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists. Requests to participate were solicited via 2 e-mail messages. Responses were analyzed descriptively.
Results:
A total of 152 pharmacists participated in the survey. Forty-three respondents (28.3%) reported being very concerned and 86 (56.6%) reported being somewhat concerned about the Health Canada Notice to Hospitals. About half (77/152 [50.7%]) of the respondents felt that the Health Canada notice did not need to be strictly heeded. Two-thirds (98/145 [67.6%]) reported that their institutions had addressed the risk of an interaction through a change in policy regarding the administration of ceftriaxone. Eighty-eight (61.5%) of 143 participants indicated that their institution’s official position on the notice was that it represented a “relative contraindication” (i.e., the benefit may outweigh the risk).
Conclusions:
Warning letters issued by the manufacturer, the FDA, and Health Canada generated concern within the Canadian hospital pharmacy community. However, a large proportion of hospital pharmacy practitioners did not agree with strict adherence to the Health Canada notice.
PMCID: PMC2827021  PMID: 22478936
ceftriaxone; calcium; administration; precipitation; ceftriaxone; calcium; administration; précipitation
5.  Patient perceptions of pharmacist roles in guiding self-medication of over-the-counter therapy in Qatar 
Background:
Self-care, including self-medication with over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, facilitates the public’s increased willingness to assume greater responsibility for their own health. Direct consultation with pharmacists provides efficient professional guidance for safe and appropriate OTC use.
Objective:
The purpose of this study was to characterize patient perceptions of pharmacists and use of nonprescription therapy in an ambulatory care population in Qatar.
Methods:
Patients having prescriptions filled at one organization’s private medical clinics during two distinct two-week periods were invited to participate in a short verbal questionnaire. Awareness of pharmacist roles in guiding OTC drug selection was assessed, as were patient preferences for OTC indications. Attitudes towards pharmacist and nurse drug knowledge and comfort with direct dispensing were also evaluated.
Results:
Five hundred seventy patients participated representing 29 countries. Most respondents were men (92.1%) with mean age of 38.3 years. Almost 1 in 7 did not know medical complaints could be assessed by a pharmacist (15.3%) and 1 in 5 (21.9%) were unaware pharmacists could directly supply OTC therapy. The majority (85.3%) would be interested in this service. In general, respondents were more comfortable with medication and related advice supplied by pharmacists as opposed to nursing professionals.
Conclusion:
Patients were familiar with the roles of pharmacists as they pertain to self-medication with OTC therapy and described the desire to use such a service within this Qatar ambulatory health care setting.
PMCID: PMC2875718  PMID: 20517469
patient; self-medication; over-the-counter; pharmacist; Qatar
6.  Independent pharmacist prescribing in Canada 
Canadian Pharmacists Journal : CPJ  2012;145(1):17-23.e1.
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.
doi:10.3821/1913-701X-145.1.17
PMCID: PMC3567533  PMID: 23509483
7.  A pan-Canadian practice guideline and algorithm: screening, assessment, and supportive care of adults with cancer-related fatigue 
Current Oncology  2013;20(3):e233-e246.
Purpose
The purpose of the present systematic review was to develop a practice guideline to inform health care providers about screening, assessment, and effective management of cancer-related fatigue (crf) in adults.
Methods
The internationally endorsed adapte methodology was used to develop a practice guideline for pan-Canadian use. A systematic search of the literature identified a broad range of evidence: clinical practice guidelines, systematic reviews, and other guidance documents on the screening, assessment, and management of crf. The search included medline, embase, cinahl, the Cochrane Library, and other guideline and data sources to December 2009.
Results
Two clinical practice guidelines were identified for adaptation. Seven guidance documents and four systematic reviews also provided supplementary evidence to inform guideline recommendations. Health professionals across Canada provided expert feedback on the adapted recommendations in the practice guideline and algorithm through a participatory external review process.
Conclusions
Practice guidelines can facilitate the adoption of evidence-based assessment and interventions for adult cancer patients experiencing fatigue. Development of an algorithm to guide decision-making in practice may also foster the uptake of a guideline into routine care.
doi:10.3747/co.20.1302
PMCID: PMC3671030  PMID: 23737693
Fatigue; cancer; survivor; survivorship; screening; assessment; supportive care; adapted guideline
8.  The ethics of Canadian entry-to-practice pain competencies: How are we doing? 
BACKGROUND:
Although unrelieved pain continues to represent a significant problem, prelicensure educational programs tend to include little content related to pain. Standards for professional competence strongly influence curricula and have the potential to ensure that health science students have the knowledge and skill to manage pain in a way that also allows them to meet professional ethical standards.
OBJECTIVES:
To perform a systematic, comprehensive examination to determine the entry-to-practice competencies related to pain required for Canadian health science and veterinary students, and to examine how the presence and absence of pain competencies relate to key competencies of an ethical nature.
METHODS:
Entry-to-practice competency requirements related to pain knowledge, skill and judgment were surveyed from national, provincial and territorial documents for dentistry, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, psychology and veterinary medicine.
RESULTS:
Dentistry included two and nursing included nine specific pain competencies. No references to competencies related to pain were found in the remaining health science documents. In contrast, the national competency requirements for veterinary medicine, surveyed as a comparison, included nine pain competencies. All documents included competencies pertaining to ethics.
CONCLUSIONS:
The lack of competencies related to pain has implications for advancing skillful and ethical practice. The lack of attention to pain competencies limits the capacity of health care professionals to alleviate suffering, foster autonomy and use resources justly. Influencing professional bodies to increase the number of required entry-to-practice pain competencies may ultimately have the greatest impact on education and practice.
PMCID: PMC3665434  PMID: 23457683
Ethics; Pain competencies; Prelicensure health science students
9.  Pharmacists’ Perceptions of Their Professional Role: Insights into Hospital Pharmacy Culture 
Background:
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.
Objective:
To conduct a qualitative and semiquantitative analysis of hospital pharmacists’ perceptions of their role in patient care.
Methods:
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.
Results:
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%).
Conclusion:
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.
PMCID: PMC3053190  PMID: 22479026
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
10.  Survey of Sterile Admixture Practices in Canadian Hospital Pharmacies: Part 1. Methods and Results 
Background:
The 1996 Guidelines for Preparation of Sterile Products in Pharmacies of the Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists (CSHP) represent the current standard of practice for sterile compounding in Canada. However, these guidelines are practice recommendations, not enforceable standards. Previous surveys of sterile compounding practices have shown that actual practice deviates markedly from voluntary practice recommendations. In 2004, the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) published its “General Chapter <797> Pharmaceutical Compounding—Sterile Preparations”, which set a more rigorous and enforceable standard for sterile compounding in the United States.
Objectives:
To assess sterile compounding practices in Canadian hospital pharmacies and to compare them with current CSHP recommendations and USP chapter <797> standards.
Methods:
An online survey, based on previous studies of sterile compounding practices, the CSHP guidelines, and the chapter <797> standards, was created and distributed to 193 Canadian hospital pharmacies.
Results:
A total of 133 pharmacies completed at least part of the survey, for a response rate of 68.9%. All respondents reported the preparation of sterile products. Various degrees of deviation from the practice recommendations were noted for virtually all areas of the CSHP guidelines and the USP standards. Low levels of compliance were most notable in the areas of facilities and equipment, process validation, and product testing. Availability in the central pharmacy of a clean room facility meeting or exceeding the criteria of International Organization for Standardization (ISO) class 8 is a requirement of the chapter <797> standards, but more than 40% of responding pharmacies reported that they did not have such a facility. Higher levels of compliance were noted for policies and procedures, garbing requirements, aseptic technique, and handling of hazardous products. Part 1 of this series reports the survey methods and results relating to policies, personnel, raw materials, storage and handling, facilities and equipment, and garments. Part 2 will report results relating to preparation of aseptic products, expiry dating, labelling, process validation, product testing and release, documentation, records, and disposal of hazardous pharmaceuticals. It will also highlight some of the key areas where there is considerable opportunity for improvement.
Conclusion:
This survey identified numerous deficiences in sterile compounding practices in Canadian hospital pharmacies. Awareness of these deficiencies may create an impetus for critical assessment and improvements in practice.
PMCID: PMC2826929  PMID: 22478875
chapter <797>; sterile compounding; aseptic technique; chapitre <797>; préparation de produits stériles; techniques aseptiques
11.  Survey of Sterile Admixture Practices in Canadian Hospital Pharmacies: Part 2. More Results and Discussion 
Background:
The 1996 Guidelines for Preparation of Sterile Products in Pharmacies of the Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists (CSHP) represent the current standard of practice for sterile compounding in Canada. However, these guidelines are practice recommendations, not enforceable standards. Previous surveys of sterile compounding practices have shown that actual practice deviates markedly from voluntary practice recommendations. In 2004, the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) published its “General Chapter <797> Pharmaceutical Compounding—Sterile Preparations”, which set a more rigorous and enforceable standard for sterile compounding in the United States.
Objectives:
To assess sterile compounding practices in Canadian hospital pharmacies and to compare them with current CSHP recommendations and USP chapter <797> standards.
Methods:
An online survey, based on previous studies of sterile compounding practices, the CSHP guidelines, and the chapter <797> standards, was created and distributed to 193 Canadian hospital pharmacies.
Results:
A total of 133 pharmacies completed at least part of the survey, for a response rate of 68.9%. All respondents reported the preparation of sterile products. Various degrees of deviation from the practice recommendations were noted for virtually all areas of the CSHP guidelines and the USP standards. Low levels of compliance were most notable in the areas of facilities and equipment, process validation, and product testing. Availability in the central pharmacy of a clean room facility meeting or exceeding the criteria of International Organization for Standardization (ISO) class 8 is a requirement of the chapter <797> standards, but more than 40% of responding pharmacies reported that they did not have such a facility. Higher levels of compliance were noted for policies and procedures, garbing requirements, aseptic technique, and handling of hazardous products. The survey methods for this study and results relating to policies, personnel, raw materials, storage and handling, facilities and equipment, and garments were reported in Part 1. Part 2 reports results relating to preparation of aseptic products, expiry dating, labelling, process validation, product testing and release, documentation, records, and disposal of hazardous pharmaceuticals. It also highlights some of the key areas where there is considerable opportunity for improvement.
Conclusion:
This survey identified numerous deficiencies in sterile compounding practices in Canadian hospital pharmacies. Awareness of these deficiencies may create an impetus for critical assessment and improvements in practice.
PMCID: PMC2826950  PMID: 22478890
chapter <797>; sterile compounding; aseptic technique; expiry dating; process validation; disposal of hazardous pharmaceuticals; chapitre <797>; préparation de produits stériles; techniques aseptiques; attribution de la date de péremption; validation de la procédure; élimination des produits pharmaceutiques dangereux
12.  New Canadian natural health product regulations: a qualitative study of how CAM practitioners perceive they will be impacted 
Background
New Canadian policy to regulate natural health products (NHPs), such as herbs and vitamins were implemented on January 1st, 2004. We explored complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) practitioners' perceptions of how the new regulations may affect their practices and relationships with patients/consumers.
Methods
This was an applied ethnographic study. Data were collected in fall 2004 via qualitative interviews with 37 Canadian leaders of four CAM groups that use natural products as a core part of their practises: naturopathic medicine, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), homeopathic medicine and Western herbalism. All interviews were transcribed verbatim and coded independently by a minimum of two investigators using content analysis.
Results
Three key findings emerged from the data: 1) all CAM leaders were concerned with issues of their own access to NHPs; 2) all the CAM leaders, except for the homeopathic leaders, specifically indicated a desire to have a restricted schedule of NHPs; and 3) only naturopathic leaders were concerned the NHP regulations could potentially endanger patients if they self-medicate incorrectly.
Conclusion
Naturopaths, TCM practitioners, homeopaths, and Western herbalists were all concerned about how the new NHP regulations will affect their access to the products they need to practice effectively. Additional research will need to focus on what impacts actually occur as the regulations are implemented more fully.
doi:10.1186/1472-6882-6-18
PMCID: PMC1481533  PMID: 16686960
13.  Measurement of antibiotic consumption: A practical guide to the use of the Anatomical Thgerapeutic Chemical classification and Definied Daily Dose system methodology in Canada 
Despite the global public health importance of resistance of microorganisms to the effects of antibiotics, and the direct relationship of consumption to resistance, little information is available concerning levels of consumption in Canadian hospitals and out-patient settings. The present paper provides practical advice on the use of administrative pharmacy data to address this need. Focus is made on the use of the Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical classification and Defined Daily Dose system. Examples of consumption data from Canadian community and hospital settings, with comparisons to international data, are used to incite interest and to propose uses of this information. It is hoped that all persons responsible for policy decisions regarding licensing, reimbursement, prescribing guidelines, formulary controls or any other structure pertaining to antimicrobial use become conversant with the concepts of population antibiotic consumption and that this paper provides them with the impetus and direction to begin accurately measuring and comparing antibiotic use in their jurisdictions.
PMCID: PMC2094921  PMID: 18159441
Antibacterial agents; Drug utilization; Pharmacoepidemiology
14.  Factors influencing pharmacists’ adoption of prescribing: qualitative application of the diffusion of innovations theory 
Background
In 2007, Alberta became the first Canadian jurisdiction to grant pharmacists a wide range of prescribing privileges. Our objective was to understand what factors influence pharmacists’ adoption of prescribing using a model for the Diffusion of Innovations in healthcare services.
Methods
Pharmacists participated in semi-structured telephone interviews to discuss their prescribing practices and explore the facilitators and barriers to implementation. Pharmacists working in community, hospital, PCN, or other settings were selected using a mix of random and purposive sampling. Two investigators independently analyzed each transcript using an Interpretive Description approach to identify themes. Analyses were informed by a model explaining the Diffusion of Innovations in health service organizations.
Results
Thirty-eight participants were interviewed. Prescribing behaviours varied from non-adoption through to product, disease, and patient focused use of prescribing. Pharmacists’ adoption of prescribing was dependent on the innovation itself, adopter, system readiness, and communication and influence. Adopting pharmacists viewed prescribing as a legitimization of previous practice and advantageous to instrumental daily tasks. The complexity of knowledge required for prescribing increased respectively in product, disease and patient focused prescribing scenarios. Individual adopters had higher levels of self-efficacy toward prescribing skills. At a system level, pharmacists who were in practice settings that were patient focused were more likely to adopt advanced prescribing practices, over those in product-focused settings. All pharmacists stated that physician relationships impacted their prescribing behaviours and individual pharmacists’ decisions to apply for independent prescribing privileges.
Conclusions
Diffusion of Innovations theory was helpful in understanding the multifaceted nature of pharmacists’ adoption of prescribing. The characteristics of the prescribing model itself which legitimized prior practices, the model of practice in a pharmacy setting, and relationships with physicians were prominent influences on pharmacists’ prescribing behaviours.
doi:10.1186/1748-5908-8-109
PMCID: PMC3847669  PMID: 24034176
15.  Tobacco sales in pharmacies: a survey of attitudes, knowledge and beliefs of pharmacists employed in student experiential and other worksites in Western New York 
BMC Research Notes  2012;5:413.
Background
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.
Methods
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.
Results
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.
Conclusions
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.
doi:10.1186/1756-0500-5-413
PMCID: PMC3492148  PMID: 22867129
Tobacco sales; Pharmacists; Preceptors; Public health policy; Survey research; Pharmacies
16.  An expanded prescribing role for pharmacists - an Australian perspective 
The Australasian Medical Journal  2011;4(4):236-242.
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.
doi:10.4066/AMJ.2011.694
PMCID: PMC3562903  PMID: 23393515
Pharmacist prescribing; Australia; pharmacy clients; Australian pharmacy; non-medical prescribing
17.  Code of ethics for the national pharmaceutical system: Codifying and compilation 
Pharmacists as one of health-care providers face ethical issues in terms of pharmaceutical care, relationship with patients and cooperation with the health-care team. Other than pharmacy, there are pharmaceutical companies in various fields of manufacturing, importing or distributing that have their own ethical issues. Therefore, pharmacy practice is vulnerable to ethical challenges and needs special code of conducts. On feeling the need, based on a shared project between experts of the ethics from relevant research centers, all the needs were fully recognized and then specified code of conduct for each was written. The code of conduct was subject to comments of all experts involved in the pharmaceutical sector and thus criticized in several meetings. The prepared code of conduct is comprised of professional code of ethics for pharmacists, ethics guideline for pharmaceutical manufacturers, ethics guideline for pharmaceutical importers, ethics guideline for pharmaceutical distributors, and ethics guideline for policy makers. The document was compiled based on the principles of bioethics and professionalism. The compiling the code of ethics for the national pharmaceutical system is the first step in implementing ethics in pharmacy practice and further attempts into teaching the professionalism and the ethical code as the necessary and complementary effort are highly recommended.
PMCID: PMC3810583  PMID: 24174954
Pharmaceuticals; pharmacy ethics; pharmacy professionalism
18.  The Ethics of Dietary Supplements and Natural Health Products in Pharmacy Practice: A Systematic Documentary Analysis 
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.
Method
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.
Key Findings
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.
Conclusion
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.
PMCID: PMC2918535  PMID: 20218027 CAMSID: cams1317
19.  Can the profession of pharmacy serve as a model for health informationist professionals? 
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.
PMCID: PMC64759  PMID: 11838462
20.  Integrative practices of Canadian oncology health professionals 
Current Oncology  2008;15(Suppl 2):s110.es87-s110.es91.
Objective
Cancer patients are increasingly known to use complementary medicine (cam) during conventional treatment, but data are limited on how Canadian oncology health professionals attempt to assist patients with their use of cam in the context of conventional cancer care. As part of a larger qualitative study assessing the perceptions of Canadian oncology health professionals regarding integrated breast cancer care, we undertook an exploration of current integrative practices of oncology health professionals.
Design
Using an interpretive description research design and a purposive sampling, we conducted a series of in-depth qualitative interviews with various oncology health professionals recruited from provincial cancer agencies, hospitals, integrative clinics, and private practice settings in four Canadian cities: Vancouver, Winnipeg, Montreal, and Halifax. A total of 16 oncology health professionals participated, including medical and radiation oncologists, nurses, and pharmacists.
Results
Findings highlighted two main strategies used by oncology health professionals to create a more integrative approach for cancer patients: acting as an integrative care guide, and collaborating with other health professionals.
Conclusions
Although few clear standards of practice or guidance material were in place within their organizational settings, health professionals discussed some integrative roles that they had adopted, depending on interest, knowledge, and skills, in supporting patients with cam decisions. Given that cancer patients report that they want to be able to confer with their conventional health professionals, particularly their oncologists, about their cam use, health professionals who elect to adopt integrative practices are likely offering patients much-welcomed support.
PMCID: PMC2528555  PMID: 18769573
Oncology health professionals; integrative cancer care; qualitative research; complementary therapies
21.  Education of Pharmacists in Canada 
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.
PMCID: PMC2661159  PMID: 19325948
Canada; comparative education; international pharmacy education
22.  The role of natural health products (NHPs) in dietetic practice: results from a survey of Canadian dietitians 
Background
Registered dietitians (RDs) play a key role in disseminating information about nutrition and intervening in nutrition-related disorders in the Canadian context. Natural health products (NHPs) are increasingly associated with nutrition in patient and health professional discussions. For this study, NHPs were divided into three categories: nutritional supplements (NS); functional foods/nutraceuticals (FF/N); and herbal preparations (HP). The objective was to explore RDs’ perceptions about their professional roles and responsibilities with respect to three categories of natural health products (NHPs).
Methods
This research consisted of an on-line survey of registered dietitians (RDs) in Ontario.
Surveys were distributed electronically to all practicing RDs in Ontario by the College of Dietitians of Ontario. There were 558 survey respondents, a response rate of 20%.
Results
The vast majority of RDs reported being consulted by clients about all product categories (98% for NS; 94% for FF/N; 91% for HP), with RDs receiving the most frequent questions about NS and the least frequent about HP. 74% of RDs believed that NS are included within the current scope of practice, compared to 59% for FF/N and 14% for HP. Even higher numbers believed that these products should be included: 97% for NS, 91% for FF/N and 47% for HP. RDs who report personally ingesting FF/N and HP were significantly more likely to report that these products should be in the dietetic scope of practice. In contrast, RDs who provide one-on-one counselling services or group-level counselling/workshops were significantly less likely to believe HP should be in the dietetic scope of practice.
Conclusions
Opinions of RDs indicated that NS and FF/N (and possibly HP) fall within, or should fall within, RDs’ scope of practice. Opportunity exists for RDs to undertake a professional role with respect to NHPs. Policy clarification regarding RD roles is needed.
doi:10.1186/1472-6882-13-156
PMCID: PMC3703453  PMID: 23819488
Dietitians; Professional roles and responsibilities; Natural health products; Dietary supplements; Nutritional supplements; Functional foods; Nutraceuticals; Herbal preparations
23.  Results of a national survey on over-the-counter medicines, Part 1: Pharmacist opinion on current scheduling status 
Canadian Pharmacists Journal : CPJ  2012;145(1):40-44.e1.
>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.
doi:10.3821/1913-701X-145.1.40
PMCID: PMC3567527  PMID: 23509487
24.  The Taxonomy of Professionalism: Reframing the Academic Pursuit of Professional Development 
Student professionalism continues to be an elusive goal within colleges and schools of pharmacy. Several reports have described the nature of professionalism and enumerated the characteristic traits of a professional, but educational strategies for inculcating pharmacy students with attitudes of professionalism have not been reliably effective. Some authors have suggested the need for a standard definition. If the goal can be more clearly conceptualized by both faculty members and students, and the moral construct of the fiduciary relationship between pharmacist and patient better understood, the development of professional values and behaviors should be easier to achieve. This paper describes a new approach to defining professionalism that is patterned after Bloom's Taxonomy of Educational Objectives. It includes the general concept of patient care advocacy as an underlying paradigm for a new pharmacy practice model, and defines 5 behavioral elements within each of the 3 domains of professionalism: competence, connection, and character.
PMCID: PMC2720364  PMID: 19657501
advocacy; fiduciary; patient care; professionalism; students; taxonomy
25.  Temporal Trends in Spatial Access to Pharmacies that Sell Over-the-Counter Syringes in New York City Health Districts: Relationship to Local Racial/Ethnic Composition and Need 
Pharmacies that sell over-the-counter (OTC) syringes are a major source of sterile syringes for injection drug users in cities and states where such sales are legal. In these cities and states, however, black injectors are markedly less likely to acquire syringes from pharmacies than white injectors. The present analysis documents spatial and temporal trends in OTC pharmacy access in New York City health districts over time (2001–2006) and investigates whether these trends are related to district racial/ethnic composition and to local need for OTC pharmacies. For each year of the study period, we used kernel density estimation methods to characterize spatial access to OTC pharmacies within each health district. Higher values on this measure indicate better access to these pharmacies. “Need” was operationalized using two different measures: the number of newly diagnosed injection-related AIDS cases per 10,000 residents (averaged across 1999–2001), and the number of drug-related hospital discharges per 10,000 residents (averaged across 1999–2001). District sociodemographic characteristics were assessed using 2000 US decennial census data. We used hierarchical linear models (HLM) for descriptive and inferential analyses and investigated whether the relationship between need and temporal trajectories in the Expanded Syringe Access Demonstration Program access varied by district racial/ethnic composition, controlling for district poverty rates. HLM analyses indicate that the mean spatial access to OTC pharmacies across New York City health districts was 12.71 in 2001 and increased linearly by 1.32 units annually thereafter. Temporal trajectories in spatial access to OTC pharmacies depended on both need and racial/ethnic composition. Within high-need districts, OTC pharmacy access was twice as high in 2001 and increased three times faster annually, in districts with higher proportions of non-Hispanic white residents than in districts with low proportions of these residents. In low-need districts, “whiter” districts had substantially greater baseline access to OTC pharmacies than districts with low proportions of non-Hispanic white residents. Access remained stable thereafter in low-need districts, regardless of racial/ethnic composition. Conclusions were consistent across both measures of “need” and persisted after controlling for local poverty rates. In both high- and low-need districts, spatial access to OTC pharmacies was greater in “Whiter” districts in 2001; in high-need districts, access also increased more rapidly over time in “whiter” districts. Ensuring equitable spatial access to OTC pharmacies may reduce injection-related HIV transmission overall and reduce racial/ethnic disparities in HIV incidence among injectors.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11524-009-9399-7) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1007/s11524-009-9399-7
PMCID: PMC2791821  PMID: 19911283
HIV/AIDS; Injection drug use; Harm reduction; Geography; Health service access; Health disparities

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