Considerations of prescribers and pharmacists for the use of non-selective ?-blockers in asthma and COPD patients: An explorative study.
ABSTRACT: RATIONALE, AIMS, AND OBJECTIVES:Despite recommendations in prevailing guidelines to avoid the use of non-selective (NS) ?-blockers in patients with asthma or COPD, on average, 10 patients per community pharmacy receive NS ?-blockers monthly. The aim of our study was to identify the reasons of prescribers and pharmacists to treat asthma and COPD patients with NS ?-blockers. METHODS:Fifty-three community pharmacists in the Netherlands selected patients with actual concurrent use of inhalation medication and NS ?-blockers. For at least 5 patients, each pharmacist screened all medication surveillance signals and actions taken at first dispensing. Each pharmacist selected 3 different initial prescribers for a short interview to explore their awareness of the co-morbidity and reasons to apply NS ?-blockers. RESULTS:Pharmacists identified 827 asthma/COPD patients with actual use of NS ?-blockers. From these, 153 NS ?-blocker prescribers were selected and interviewed (64 general practitioners, 45 ophthalmologists, 24 cardiologists, and 20 other prescribers). One hundred seven prescribers were aware of the drug-disease interaction of the asthma or COPD co-morbidity when initiating the NS ?-blocker, and 46 were not. From these, 40 prescribers did not consider the contraindication to be relevant. For 299 patients, medication surveillance signals and actions at first dispensing were retrieved. Patients used predominantly ocular timolol (39.8%), and the oral preparations propranolol (30.8%) and carvedilol (15.1%). In 154 cases, the pharmacy system generated a warning alert. CONCLUSIONS:A substantial number of prescribers was unaware of the co-morbidity or did not regard NS ?-blockers contraindicated, despite prevailing clinical guidelines. Improvement programs should target prescribers' awareness and knowledge of NS ?-blockers in patients with asthma or COPD.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:To determine if a prototype pharmacists' services evaluation programme that uses linked community pharmacy claims and health administrative data to measure pharmacists' performance can be used to identify characteristics of pharmacies providing higher quality of care. DESIGN:Population-based cohort study using community pharmacy claims from 1 November 2009 to 30 June 2010. SETTING:All community pharmacies in Quebec, Canada. PARTICIPANTS:1742 pharmacies dispensing 8?655?348 antihypertensive prescriptions to 760?700 patients. PRIMARY OUTCOME MEASURE:Patient adherence to antihypertensive medications. PREDICTORS:Pharmacy level: dispensing workload, volume of pharmacist-provided professional services (eg, refusals to dispense, pharmacotherapy recommendations), pharmacy location, banner/chain, pharmacist overlap and within-pharmacy continuity of care. Patient level: sex, age, income, patient prescription cost, new/chronic therapy, single/multiple antihypertensive medications, single/multiple prescribers and single/multiple dispensing pharmacies. Dispensing level: prescription duration, time of day dispensed and antihypertensive class. Multivariate alternating logistic regression estimated predictors of the primary outcome, accounting for patient and pharmacy clustering. RESULTS:9.2% of dispensings of antihypertensive medications were provided to non-adherent patients. Male sex, decreasing age, new treatment, multiple prescribers and multiple dispensing pharmacies were risk factors for increased non-adherence. Pharmacies that provided more professional services were less likely to dispense to non-adherent hypertensive patients (OR: 0.60; 95%?CI: 0.57 to 0.62) as were those with better scores on the Within-Pharmacy Continuity of Care Index. Neither increased pharmacists' services for improving antihypertensive adherence per se nor increased pharmacist overlap impacted the odds of non-adherence. However, pharmacist overlap was strongly correlated with dispensing workload. There was significant unexplained variability among pharmacies belonging to different banners and chains. CONCLUSIONS:Pharmacy administrative claims data can be used to calculate pharmacy-level characteristics associated with improved quality of care. This study supports the importance of pharmacist's professional services and continuity of pharmacist's care.
Project description:Background:The indication for a particular medication, or its reason for use (RFU), is important information for prescribers, pharmacists and patients but is not often communicated in writing from prescribers to pharmacists. Adding RFU to a prescription and a medication label would ensure that pharmacists are confident that they are providing high-quality, accurate patient care. This study aims to describe the perspectives of pharmacists on how receiving RFU from prescribers would affect their practice and how pharmacists putting this information on prescriptions would affect patients. Methods:Semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted with 20 pharmacists in Southwestern Ontario. Thematic analysis was used to analyze the interview transcripts, leading to 4 major themes. Results:Pharmacists expressed that RFU should be formatted to ensure that it is of clinical utility via the use of written text and noted that either medical or lay (also known as plain) language would be appropriate for use. Pharmacists indicated that patient privacy should be considered when writing RFU on labels and that patient preference with respect to the addition of RFU should dictate its inclusion on a medication label. Pharmacist access to RFU was universally acknowledged to improve patient safety by providing pharmacists with more information to determine whether the given medication was indicated. Conclusions:This study provides further information about the impact that having access to RFU would have on pharmacy practice and can be used to advocate for the inclusion of RFU information with prescriptions to improve patient outcomes. Can Pharm J (Ott) 2020;153:xx-xx.
Project description:Documenting the indication on prescriptions and dispensed medicines labels is not standard practice in Australia. However, previous studies that have focused on the content and design of dispensed medicines labels, have suggested including the indication as a safety measure. The aim of this study was to investigate the perspectives of Australian consumers, pharmacists and prescribers on documenting the indication on prescriptions and dispensed medicines labels.Semi-structured interviews were conducted and mock-up of dispensed medicines labels were designed for participants. Consumers (n?=?19) and pharmacists (n?=?7) were recruited by convenience sample at community pharmacies in Sydney (Australia) and prescribers (n?=?8), including two medical students, were recruited through snowballing.Thirty-four participants were interviewed. Most participants agreed that documenting the indication would be beneficial especially for patients who are forgetful or take multiple medications. Participants also believed it would improve consumers' medication understanding and adherence. Prescribers and pharmacists believed it could help reduce prescribing and dispensing errors by matching the drug/dosage to the correct indication. Prescribers refrained from documenting the indication to protect patients' privacy; however, most patients did not consider documenting the indication as a breach of privacy. Prescribers raised concerns about the extra time to include indications on prescriptions and best language to document indications, using plain language as opposed to medical terminology.All interviewed stakeholders identified numerous benefits of documenting the indication on prescriptions and dispensed medicines labels. Whether these potential benefits can be realized remains unknown and addressing prescribers' concern regarding the time involved in documenting the indication on prescriptions remains a challenge for vendors of electronic medication management systems.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Community pharmacy represents an important setting to identify patients who may benefit from an adherence intervention, however it remains unclear whether it would be feasible to monitor antihypertensive adherence within the workflow of community pharmacy. The aim of this study was to identify facilitators and barriers to monitoring antihypertensive medication adherence of older adults at the point of repeat dispensing. METHODS:We undertook a factorial survey of Irish community pharmacists, guided by a conceptual model adapted from the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB). Respondents completed four sections, 1) five factorial vignettes (clinical scenario of repeat dispensing), 2) a medication monitoring attitude measure, 3) subjective norms and self-efficacy questions, and 4) demographic and workplace questions. Barriers and facilitators to adherence monitoring behaviour were identified in factorial vignette analysis using multivariate multilevel linear modelling, testing the effect of both contextual factors embedded within the vignettes (section 1), and respondent-level factors (sections 2-4) on likelihood to perform three adherence monitoring behaviours in response to the vignettes. RESULTS:Survey invites (n?=?1543) were sent via email and 258 completed online survey responses were received; two-thirds of respondents were women, and one-third were qualified pharmacists for at least 15?years. In factorial vignette analysis, pharmacists were more inclined to monitor antihypertensive medication adherence by examining refill-patterns from pharmacy records than asking patients questions about their adherence or medication beliefs. Pharmacists with more positive attitudes towards medication monitoring and normative beliefs that other pharmacists monitored adherence, were more likely to monitor adherence. Contextual factors also influenced pharmacists' likelihood to perform the three adherence monitoring behaviours, including time-pressures and the number of days late the patient collected their repeat prescription. Pharmacists' normative beliefs and the number of days late the patient collected their repeat prescription had the largest quantitative influence on responses. CONCLUSIONS:This survey identified that positive pharmacist attitudes and normative beliefs can facilitate adherence monitoring within the current workflow; however contextual time-barriers may prevent adherence monitoring. Future research should consider these findings when designing a pharmacist-led adherence intervention to be integrated within current pharmacy workflow.
Project description:Background There are concerns about maintaining appropriate clinical staffing levels in Emergency Departments. Pharmacists may be one possible solution. Objective To determine if Emergency Department attendees could be clinically managed by pharmacists with or without advanced clinical practice training. Setting Prospective 49 site cross-sectional observational study of patients attending Emergency Departments in England. Method Pharmacist data collectors identified patient attendance at their Emergency Department, recorded anonymized details of 400 cases and categorized each into one of four possible options: cases which could be managed by a community pharmacist; could be managed by a hospital pharmacist independent prescriber; could be managed by a hospital pharmacist independent prescriber with additional clinical training; or medical team only (unsuitable for pharmacists to manage). Impact indices sensitive to both workload and proportion of pharmacist manageable cases were calculated for each clinical group. Main outcome measure Proportion of cases which could be managed by a pharmacist. Results 18,613 cases were observed from 49 sites. 726 (3.9%) of cases were judged suitable for clinical management by community pharmacists, 719 (3.9%) by pharmacist prescribers, 5202 (27.9%) by pharmacist prescribers with further training, and 11,966 (64.3%) for medical team only. Impact Indices of the most frequent clinical groupings were general medicine (13.18) and orthopaedics (9.69). Conclusion The proportion of Emergency Department cases that could potentially be managed by a pharmacist was 36%. Greatest potential for pharmacist management was in general medicine and orthopaedics (usually minor trauma). Findings support the case for extending the clinical role of pharmacists.
Project description:Background:Hormonal contraceptive pills have evolved as a common form of contraception worldwide. Pharmacists play a vital role in providing safe and effective access to these medicines. In many developing countries such as the United Arab Emirates (UAE), these medicines are available to the general public without the presentation of a prescription which requires the pharmacist to shoulder responsibility by assessing and educating patients to assure their appropriate use. Objectives:To evaluate community pharmacists' current practice of dispensing and counseling on hormonal contraceptives. Methods:Simulated patient methodology was used in this study. A single simulated patient visited community pharmacies requesting an oral contraceptive as per a preplanned scenario. Information from the visits were recorded on a data collection form including: pharmacist assessing patient eligibility to take hormonal contraceptives, selecting the appropriate oral contraceptive, providing complete counseling on how to use the pill, adherence, missed dose handlings and side effects of the medication. The Pharmacist was prompted by the simulated patient to provide the information if they did not provide spontaneous counseling. The quality of pharmacists' counseling was rated and consequently coded as complete, incomplete or poor. Results:A total of 201 community pharmacies were visited. More than 92% of the pharmacists did not ask the simulated patient any question to assess their eligibility to use contraceptives. Twenty three pharmacists (11.4%) selected the proper product. One hundred seventeen (58.2%) of the pharmacists provided spontaneous counseling on how to use the pill, 17 of them had their counsel rated as complete, but none of the pharmacists provided spontaneous counseling regarding adherence or side effects of the medications. On prompting, 10 pharmacists (12%) provided complete counseling regarding how to use oral contraceptives, 14 pharmacists (7.0%) provided complete counseling on adherence and missing dose handling and five pharmacists (2.5%) provided complete counseling about expected side effects. Conclusions:Pharmacists' practice regarding hormonal contraceptive dispensing and counseling was suboptimal in this study. Areas needing intervention were related to pharmacist assessment of eligibility for oral contraceptive use, choice of optimal oral contraceptive for patient-specific co-morbidities and provision of adequate counseling regarding proper use, adherence and missed dose handlings.
Project description:This study reports the process of telephonic medication reviews conducted by community pharmacists for patients with asthma. The study occurred at an independent community chain in association with a Missouri Medicaid consulting group. Participants were identified utilizing claims data and met the National Quality Forum criteria for uncontrolled moderate-to-severe persistent asthma. A pharmacist performed the initial encounter via telephone which included a knowledge questionnaire, symptom control assessment, and medication review. Pharmacists identified drug-related problems (DRPs) and faxed recommendations to patients' primary care providers (PCPs). Thirty days later, pharmacists called to follow up with the patients and faxed PCPs to resolve any outstanding DRPs, new DRPs, or recommendations. Questionnaire scores and symptom control assessments were compared and analyzed utilizing a paired t-test, Chi-squared test, or Fisher's exact test. The number and categories of DRPs, recommendations made by pharmacists, and intervention time were reported. Fourteen participants completed initial encounters with twelve completing follow-up. The majority answered 'yes' to at least one symptom control assessment question indicating partially controlled to uncontrolled asthma. The average knowledge assessment score was 5.17 out of 7 initially and 5.42 for the follow-up. Pharmacists identified 43 DRPs and made 41 recommendations with a mean intervention time of 65 min.
Project description:Importance:Since 2016, 11 states have expanded the scope of pharmacists to include direct prescription of hormonal contraception. Dispensing greater than 1 month's supply is associated with improved contraceptive continuation rates and fewer breaks in coverage. Scant data exist on the practice of pharmacist prescription of contraception and its outcomes compared with traditional, clinic-based prescriptions. Objective:To compare the amount of hormonal contraceptive supply dispensed between pharmacists and clinic-based prescriptions. Prescribing patterns were assessed by describing prescribing practices for women with contraindications to combined hormonal contraception. Characteristics of women seeking hormonal contraception directly from pharmacists were also described. Design, Setting, and Participants:This cohort study surveyed women aged 18 to 50 years who presented to pharmacies in California, Colorado, Hawaii, and Oregon for hormonal contraception prescribed by a clinician or a pharmacist between January 30 and November 1, 2019. Exposures:Pharmacist or clinic-based prescription of contraception. Main Outcomes and Measures:Months of contraceptive supply dispensed. Results:Four hundred ten women (mean [SD] age, 27.1 [7.7] years) were recruited who obtained contraception directly from a pharmacist (n?=?144) or by traditional clinician prescription (n?=?266). Women obtaining contraception from a pharmacist were significantly younger (82 [56.9%] vs 115 [43.2%] participants aged 18-24 years; P?=?.03), had less education (38 [26.4%] vs 100 [37.6%] with a bachelor degree; P?=?.002), and were more likely to be uninsured (16 [11.1%] vs 8 [3.0%] participants; P?=?.001) compared with women with a prescription from a clinician. Pharmacists were significantly more likely to prescribe a 6-month or greater supply of contraceptives than clinicians (6.9% vs 1.5%, P?<?.001) and significantly less likely to only prescribe a 1-month supply (42 [29.2%] vs 118 [44.4%] prescriptions; P?<?.001). Controlling for all covariates, women seen by pharmacists had higher odds of receipt of a 6-month or greater supply of contraceptives compared with those seen by clinicians (odds ratio?=?3.55; 95% CI, 1.88-6.70). Pharmacists were as likely as clinicians to prescribe a progestin-only method to women with a potential contraindication to estrogen (n?=?60 women; 8 [20.0%] vs 6 [30.0%], P?=?.52). Conclusions and Relevance:These findings suggest that pharmacist prescription of contraception may be associated with improved contraceptive continuation by preventing breaks in coverage through the provision of a greater supply of medication. Efforts are needed to educate prescribing providers on the importance of dispensing 6 months or greater contraceptive supply.
Project description:Community pharmacists play a crucial role in reducing medication related health problems and improving the patient's overall wellbeing. Evidence suggests that community pharmacist led counseling services result in a better clinical and self-reported outcome, including a higher level of satisfaction and quality of life.This study aims to document self-reported and actual levels of community pharmacists' involvement in the provision of patient counseling and barriers that limit their involvement in such services.Simulated patient visits and a cross-sectional survey of community pharmacists were employed in Gondar town, Ethiopia between March 15 and May 15, 2016 to observe actual counseling practices and to assess their reported counseling practices respectively. Four different scenarios were developed for the simulated patient visit. A well designed questionnaire and an assessment form were used for the survey and simulated patient visit.In the cross-sectional survey, 84 pharmacists were approached and 78 agreed to participate (92.8 % response rate). Of the respondents, 96.1% agreed/strongly agreed that patient counseling is important and 69.3% strongly agreed that patient counseling should be a professional duty. The most frequent information provided to patients were dosing schedule of drugs, how to take medication, and drug-food interaction. Majority of community pharmacists either strongly agreed (42.1%) or agreed (51.3%) that patients are comfortable towards their counseling practice. A total of 48 simulated visits were conducted and a medicine was dispensed in all visits. In all four scenarios, dosage schedule (100%), how to take medication (97.6%) and drug-food interaction (69.1%) were the most common type of information provided while what to do when dose is missed (100%), contraindication (95.2%) and the importance of compliance or adherence (92.9%) were the most commonly ignored types of information.The present study emphasizes the existing gap in self-reported and actual counseling practices by community pharmacist in Gondar town, Ethiopia. Hence, the ministry of health, local health policy makers and other stakeholders should collaborate to design interventions to improve community pharmacists' dispensing and counseling practice.
Project description:Background Especially in elderly with polypharmacy, medication can do harm. Clinical pharmacists integrated in primary care teams might improve quality of pharmaceutical care. Objective To assess the effect of non-dispensing clinical pharmacists integrated in primary care teams on general practitioners' prescribing quality. Setting This study was conducted in 25 primary care practices in the Netherlands. Methods Non-randomised, controlled, multi-centre, complex intervention study with pre-post comparison. First, we identified potential prescribing quality indicators from the literature and assessed their feasibility, validity, acceptability, reliability and sensitivity to change. Also, an expert panel assessed the indicators' health impact. Next, using the final set of indicators, we measured the quality of prescribing in practices where non-dispensing pharmacists were integrated in the team (intervention group) compared to usual care (two control groups). Data were extracted anonymously from the healthcare records. Comparisons were made using mixed models correcting for potential confounders. Main outcome measure Quality of prescribing, measured with prescribing quality indicators. Results Of 388 eligible indicators reported in the literature we selected 8. In addition, two more indicators relevant for Dutch general practice were formulated by an expert panel. Scores on all 10 indicators improved in the intervention group after introduction of the non-dispensing pharmacist. However, when compared to control groups, prescribing quality improved solely on the indicator measuring monitoring of the renal function in patients using antihypertensive medication: relative risk of a monitored renal function in the intervention group compared to usual care: 1.03 (95% CI 1.01-1.05, p-value 0.010) and compared to usual care plus: 1.04 (1.01-1.06, p-value 0.004). Conclusion This study did not demonstrate a consistent effect of the introduction of non-dispensing clinical pharmacists in the primary care team on the quality of physician's prescribing.This study is part of the POINT-study, which was registered at The Netherlands National Trial Register with trial registration number NTR-4389.