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  1. Nouri AI, Hassali MA, Hashmi FK
    PMID: 31165671 DOI: 10.1177/1757913919832927
    AIMS: This article examines the outputs of pharmaceutical education with the development of the pharmacy profession and how that affects pharmaceutical innovation. It also discusses different models of collaboration between the academic and pharmaceutical industry in order to achieve a healthy collaboration between the stakeholders.

    METHODS: The perspective, experiences and insights of educators from various backgrounds, origin and educational levels were sought regarding the role of pharmacy education in providing pharmaceutical research and development workforce.

    RESULTS: Many countries around the world are currently undertaking major reforms in pharmacy education due to the changing landscape of health and healthcare delivery. These reforms must be accompanied by robust systems to assure that the quality of educational structures, processes and outcomes will produce competent pharmacy graduates in the future. It is also considered imperative that pharmacy academic institutions should establish collaboration with the drug development units, the pharmaceutical industry and government agencies for sustainability and positive research outcomes.

    CONCLUSION: Shortcomings in pharmacy curricula need to be addressed and the authors have proposed the 'TARGET' approach for the development of integrated pharmacy curriculum to substantially contribute to pharmaceutical research and development.

  2. Saleem Z, Hassali MA, Godman B, Hashmi FK, Saleem F
    Am J Infect Control, 2019 Apr;47(4):421-424.
    PMID: 30471976 DOI: 10.1016/j.ajic.2018.09.025
    BACKGROUND: Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) are seen as a global public health threat, leading to increased mortality and morbidity as well as costs. However, little is currently known about the prevalence of HAIs in Pakistan. Consequently, this multicenter prevalence survey of HAIs was conducted to assess the prevalence of HAIs in Pakistan.

    METHODS: We used the methodology employed by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control to assess the prevalence of HAIs in Punjab Province, Pakistan. Data were collected from 13 hospitals using a structured data collection tool.

    RESULTS: Out of 1,553 hospitalized patients, 130 (8.4%) had symptoms of HAIs. The most common HAI was surgical site infection (40.0%), followed by bloodstream infection (21.5%), and lower respiratory tract infection (14.6%). The prevalence of HAI was higher in private sector hospitals (25.0%) and among neonates (23.8%) and patients admitted to intensive care units (33.3%). Patients without HAIs were admitted mainly to public sector hospitals and adult medical and surgical wards.

    CONCLUSIONS: The study found a high rate of HAIs among hospitals in Pakistan, especially surgical site infections, bloodstream infections, and lower respiratory tract infections. This needs to be addressed to reduce morbidity, mortality, and costs in the future, and further research is planned.

  3. Saleem Z, Hassali MA, Godman B, Hashmi FK, Saleem F
    Int J Clin Pharm, 2019 Jul 04.
    PMID: 31273588 DOI: 10.1007/s11096-019-00875-7
    Background Understanding physicians' perception about antimicrobial use and resistance is essential to ensure that the objectives of the Pakistan national action plan on antimicrobial resistance are met. Little is currently known about physicians' perceptions in Pakistan. Objective Assess physicians' perception surrounding antibiotic use and resistance, factors influencing antibiotic prescribing and potential interventions to improve future antibiotic prescribing. Settings The study was conducted in Lahore, the capital of the province of Punjab, which is the second largest and most populous city of Pakistan. Method Qualitative study was conducted with a semi-structured interview guide involving in-depth face-to-face interviews with purposively selected physicians. Audiorecorded interviews were transcribed verbatim and transcripts analyzed by thematic content analysis. Main outcome measures Themes surrounding the perspectives of physicians on issues of antimicrobial use and resistance. Results Five major themes emerged: (1) knowledge and perception of physicians about antimicrobials, (2) antimicrobial prescribing behaviors of physicians, (3) factors influencing prescribing, (4) determinants of antimicrobial resistance, (5) and potential interventions to reduce antimicrobial resistance. The main challenges and issues associated with antibiotic prescribing were the improvement of knowledge, implementation of hygienic measures, access to and clarity of treatment recommendations and minimizing external factors influencing prescribing including pharmaceutical company activities. Suggestions for the future included stricter regulations for prescribing, improved diagnosis, availability of local guidelines and monitoring of prescribing and resistance patterns. Conclusion Identification of concerns regarding inappropriate antimicrobial prescribing will enable specific initiatives and approaches to improve future antimicrobial use and reduce antimicrobial resistance in Pakistan.
  4. Hashmi FK, Hassali MA, Khalid A, Saleem F, Aljadhey H, Babar ZUD, et al.
    BMC Health Serv Res, 2017 07 19;17(1):500.
    PMID: 28724411 DOI: 10.1186/s12913-017-2442-6
    BACKGROUND: In recent decades, community pharmacies reported a change of business model, whereby a shift from traditional services to the provision of extended roles was observed. However, such delivery of extended pharmacy services (EPS) is reported from the developed world, and there is scarcity of information from the developing nations. Within this context, the present study was aimed to explore knowledge, perception and attitude of community pharmacists (CPs) about EPS and their readiness and acceptance for practice change in the city of Lahore, Pakistan.

    METHODS: A qualitative approach was used to gain an in-depth knowledge of the issues. By using a semi-structured interview guide, 12 CPs practicing in the city of Lahore, Pakistan were conveniently selected. All interviews were audio-taped, transcribed verbatim, and were then analyzed for thematic contents by the standard content analysis framework.

    RESULTS: Thematic content analysis yielded five major themes. (1) Familiarity with EPS, (2) current practice of EPS, (3) training needed to provide EPS, (4) acceptance of EPS and (5) barriers toward EPS. Majority of the CPs were unaware of EPS and only a handful had the concept of extended services. Although majority of our study respondents were unaware of pharmaceutical care, they were ready to accept practice change if provided with the required skills and training. Lack of personal knowledge, poor public awareness, inadequate physician-pharmacist collaboration and deprived salary structures were reported as barriers towards the provision of EPS at the practice settings.

    CONCLUSION: Although the study reported poor awareness towards EPS, the findings indicated a number of key themes that can be used in establishing the concept of EPS in Pakistan. Over all, CPs reported a positive attitude toward practice change provided to the support and facilitation of health and community based agencies in Pakistan.

  5. Asif U, Saleem Z, Yousaf M, Saeed H, Hashmi FK, Islam M, et al.
    Int J Psychiatry Clin Pract, 2018 Sep;22(3):177-183.
    PMID: 29082784 DOI: 10.1080/13651501.2017.1395055
    OBJECTIVE: The study was aimed to evaluate the gender specific response to adherence and occurrence of side effects among schizophrenic patients in Lahore, Pakistan.

    METHODS: A prospective study was performed for a period of 1 year among 180 newly diagnosed schizophrenics, aged 20-60 years to observe the symptoms, medication adherence and side effects. Morisky-Green-Levine Scale was used to evaluate medication adherence, LUNSER for side effects and PANSS to measure positive and negative symptoms. Data were analyzed using SPSS.

    RESULTS: Positive symptoms (Male: Baseline 36.14 vs. endpoint 23.58, Female: 35.29 vs. 23.74) and negative symptoms (Males 27.9 vs. 20.05, Females 28.41 vs. 20.2) of schizophrenia were equally reduced after a follow up of 1 year in both the genders. Male population suffered more accumulative side effects (11.4 in males vs. 6.40 in females), extrapyramidal symptoms such as tardive dyskinesia and tremors (1.21 in males vs. 0.57 in females) and other side effects as compared to women (p ≤ .005). Males were found poorly adherent to antipsychotic treatment than females (93.3% in males vs. 6.7% in females (p ≤ .005).

    CONCLUSIONS: Prescribing practices should not overlook sex specific factors like hormonal changes, altered brain morphology and socioeconomic factors that may be responsible for the difference in the response to the course of schizophrenia.

  6. Saleem Z, Hassali MA, Versporten A, Godman B, Hashmi FK, Goossens H, et al.
    PMID: 30755077 DOI: 10.1080/14787210.2019.1581063
    OBJECTIVES: In line with the recent global action plan for antimicrobial resistance, this is the first time such a comprehensive antimicrobial point prevalence survey has been undertaken in Pakistan, the sixth most populous country.

    METHODS: This point prevalence survey (PPS) was conducted in 13 hospitals among 7 different cities of Pakistan. The survey included all inpatients receiving an antibiotic on the day of PPS. A web-based application was used for data entry, validation, and reporting as designed by the University of Antwerp (www.global-pps.com).

    RESULTS: Out of 1954 patients, 1516 (77.6%) were treated with antibiotics. The top three most reported indications for antibiotic use were prophylaxis for obstetrics or gynaecological indications (16.5%), gastrointestinal indications (12.6%) and lower respiratory tract infections (12.0%). The top three most commonly prescribed antibiotics were ceftriaxone (35.0%), metronidazole (16.0%) and ciprofloxacin (6.0%). Out of the total indications, 34.2% of antibiotics were prescribed for community-acquired infections (CAI), 5.9% for healthcare-associated infections (HAI), and 57.4% for either surgical or medical prophylaxis. Of the total use for surgical prophylaxis, 97.4% of antibiotics were given for more than one day.

    CONCLUSIONS: Unnecessary prophylactic antibiotic use is extremely high, and broad-spectrum prescribing is common among hospitals in Pakistan. There is an urgent need to work on the  national action plan of Pakistan on antibiotic resistance to address this.

  7. Saleem Z, Hassali MA, Hashmi FK, Godman B, Bhutta OA
    Hosp Pract (1995), 2019 Jun 27.
    PMID: 31180791 DOI: 10.1080/21548331.2019.1628614
    Background: The extensive use of broad-spectrum antimicrobials in immunocompromised patients is inevitable in situations where culture and sensitivity testing is challenging. However, their overuse leads to an increase in antimicrobial resistance (AMR), which is a growing concern. Method: A repeated point prevalence survey (PPS) was conducted to assess the pattern of antimicrobial prescribing in a specialized cancer care hospital in Pakistan using the methodology employed by the European Centre of Disease Prevention and Control. Results: Out of 313 hospitalized patients, 156 (49.8%) were prescribed one or more antimicrobials, 82 (50.9) in 2017 and 74 (48.7) in 2018. The average bed occupancy in the hospital was 80.3%. Fever in neutropenic patients (20.2%), lower respiratory tract infections (17.8%), and sepsis (14.9%) were the three most common clinical indications. The total number of prescribed antimicrobials was 242, of whom, 41 (16.9%) were given orally and 201 (83.1%) were given parenterally. The most commonly used antimicrobials were piperacillin plus enzyme inhibitor (31.8%), meropenem (7.9%), ceftriaxone (6.2%) and vancomycin (6.2%). Of the total prescribed antimicrobials, 42 (17.3%) antimicrobials were used in surgical departments, 89 (36.8) in adult medical departments, 73 (30.1%) in pediatric medical departments and 38 (15.7) in the intensive care unit (ICU). In addition to these antibacterials, there was relatively high use of antivirals (acyclovir; 4.1%) and antifungals (fluconazole; 3.7%, amphotericin B; 2.9%). Conclusion: The study concluded that broad-spectrum antimicrobial usage in cancer hospitals in Pakistan is high, which can be a risk factor for the emergence of AMR. Repeated PPS is a fruitful way to maintain a focus on inappropriate antimicrobial use and develop pertinent intervention programs targeteing specific issues to improve future use.
  8. Saleem Z, Godman B, Hassali MA, Hashmi FK, Azhar F, Rehman IU
    Pathog Glob Health, 2019 Jun 19.
    PMID: 31215326 DOI: 10.1080/20477724.2019.1632070
    Health-care-associated infections (HAIs) are considered a serious public health issues that contribute substantially to the global burden of mortality and morbidity with respect to infectious diseases. The aim is to assess the burden of health-care-associated infections by collation of available data from published point prevalence surveys (PPS) on HAIs to give future guidance. Study protocol and methodology were designed according to preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analysis (PRISMA) guidelines. Published research papers that conducted a point prevalence survey of HAIs in hospital settings by following the structured survey methodology employed by European Centre of Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) were included. Of 1212 articles, 67 studies were included in the final analysis conducted across different countries. Overall, 35 studies were conducted in Europe, 21 in Asia, 9 in America, and 2 in Africa. The highest prevalence of HAIs was recorded in a study conducted in adult ICU settings of 75 regions of Europe (51.3%). The majority of the studies included HAI data on urinary tract infections, respiratory tract infections, and bloodstream infections. Klebsiella pneumonia, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and E. coli were the most frequent pathogens responsible for HAIs. PPS is an useful tool to quantify HAIs and provides a robust baseline data for policymakers. However, a standardize surveillance method is required. In order to minimize the burden of HAIs, infection prevention and control programs and antibiotic stewardship may be effective strategies to minimize the risk of HAIs.
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