Materials and Methods: Twenty gel matrices were prepared with different durations of microwave irradiation, amounts of maize, and concentrations of sodium bicarbonate as suggested by Design Expert (DX®). The percentage drug release, the coefficient of variance (CV) in release, and the mean dissolution time (MDT) were the properties explored in the designed experimentation.
Results: Target responses were dependent on microwave irradiation time, cross-linker amount, and salt concentration. Classical and microwave heating did not demonstrate statistically significant difference in modifying the percentage of drug released from the matrices. However, the CVs of microwave-assisted formulations were lower than those of the gel matrices prepared via classical heating. Thus, microwave heating produced lesser variations in drug release. The optimized gel matrices demonstrated that the observed percentage of drug release, CV, and MDT were within the prediction interval generated by DX®. The release mechanism of the matrix formulations followed the Peppas-Korsmeyer anomalous transport model.
Conclusion: The DoE-supported microwave-assisted approach could be applied to optimize the critical factors of drug release with less variation.
Methods: This retrospective, multicenter, descriptive study enrolled consecutive hospitalized patients with COVID-19 who were admitted between March 1, 2021, and April 30, 2021, from three District Headquarter Hospitals in the Punjab province of Pakistan. We described patient and clinical characteristics and medications, stratified by COVID-19 severity during hospitalization: mild, moderate, and severe. In addition, an analytical study of drug utilization was conducted.
Findings: A total of 444 hospitalized patients with COVID-19 were included. Remdesvir, corticosteroids, antibiotics, and antithrombotics were administered to 45.0%, 93.9%, 84.9%, and 60.1% of patients, respectively. Specifically, dexamethasone was the most commonly used corticosteroid among the included patients (n = 405; 91.2%), irrespective of their clinical severity. Only 60.1% of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in our cohort received antithrombotic therapy, and the prevalence of use was especially low (27.8%) in patients with mild illness. Of 444 patientsscreened, 399 (89.9%) patients had been discharged, and 45 patients (10.1%) died.
Implications: We provided an important glimpse into the utilization patterns of several medications of interest for the treatment of COVID-19 in Pakistan, which had not been entirely evidence-based, especially concerning systemic corticosteroids and antibiotics.
Objective: To conceptualize a stakeholder-driven framework to improve collaboration between CPs and GPs in Malaysian primary care to effectively manage medicines in chronic diseases.
Design and Setting: A qualitative study that involved individual semi-structured interviews of the leadership of various associations, guilds, and societies representing CPs, GPs, and Nurses in Malaysia.
Methods: This study collected and reported data in accordance with the guidelines of the Consolidated Criteria for Reporting of Qualitative Studies. Key informants were recruited based on purposive (expert) sampling. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and data were coded based on the principles of thematic analysis in NVivo.
Results: A total of 12 interviews (5 CPs, 5 GPs, and 2 nurses) were conducted. Five themes emerged: Theme 1 highlighted a comparison of community pharmacy practice in Malaysia and developed countries; Theme 2 involved current practices in Malaysian primary care; Theme 3 encompassed the advantages of CP-GP collaboration in chronic diseases; Theme 4 highlighted the barriers which impede collaboration in Malaysian primary care; and Theme 5 delineated the way forward for CP-GP collaboration in Malaysia.
Conclusion: The actionable insights obtained from the Malaysian stakeholders offered an outline of a framework to enhance collaboration between CPs and GPs in primary care. Generally, stakeholders were interested in CP-GP collaboration in primary care and identified many positive roles performed by CPs, including prescription review, adherence support, and patient education. The framework of the way forward includes: separation of CP and GP roles through a holistic revision of relevant legislation to grant an active role to CPs in chronic care; definition of protocols for collaborative practices; incentivization of both stakeholders (CPs and GPs); and design and implementation of an effective regulatory mechanism whereby the Malaysian Ministry of Health may take a leading role.