METHODS: A qualitative research method was adopted with face-to-face interviews, using a semi-structured interview guide. Purposive and snowball sampling techniques were used to recruit a convenient sample of CPs who were practising in the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. All interviews were audio recorded and transcribed verbatim. The data were analysed by the research team using a thematic content analysis framework.
RESULTS: Eleven CPs participated in the study. Participants reported that online health-related information was accessible, useful, fast, and in some respects, the Internet is a unique source of information. It was reported that there was a need to establish websites for trusted information. CPs also reported that training was needed in Internet searching and website evaluation skills. Most information accessed by CPs related to drugs and diseases and to knowledge-based information. Barriers to efficacy of Internet usage were related to the reliability and volume of information available on the Internet.
CONCLUSION: Frequent use of online health-related information among CPs was reported. Many CPs supported the use of the Internet for health-related information but certain reservations were also reported. An analysis of the reasons for information seeking and barriers suggests that a wider range of influences on health information seeking should be investigated.
METHODS: A total of 1113 patient dispenser interactions were observed from a randomly selected sample of 371 pharmacies by using convenient sampling technique in the three respective cities namely Islamabad (118), Peshawar (120) and Lahore (133). The data collection tool was adapted from WHO structure observation form and was modified according to the objectives of the study.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The process of prescription handling at community pharmacies in terms of patient dispenser interaction, prescription validation and medication counseling was assessed. The data was coded, entered and analyzed by using SPSS Version 16.
RESULTS: A total of 1113 patient dispenser interactions were observed at the community pharmacies in the three respective cities namely Islamabad (n = 354), Peshawar (n = 360) and Lahore (n = 399). Out of 1113 patient/dispenser interactions the providers present at the community pharmacies were; pharmacist (degree of B-pharm/pharm D) 1.6% (n = 18), pharmacy assistant (diploma in pharmacy) 7% (n = 78), diploma holder (certified course of drug dispensing) 5.6% (n = 62) and salesmen (no medicine related education) 85.8% (n = 955).There was no significant difference in the practice between pharmacists, pharmacy assistants, diploma holders and salesmen. Prescription validation was carried out in 18% (n = 206) of the cases, drugs verification in 32% (n = 360) of the cases while labelling of drugs was performed in only 6% (n = 76) of the cases. Completely counselling about medication was provided in 3.1% (n = 35) of the cases while no counselling at all was given in 52.7% (n = 582) of the cases.
CONCLUSION: The process of medication counselling and dispensing practices at community pharmacies in Pakistan is not satisfactory. The patients are largely handled by unqualified salesmen. Thus there is a strong need to improve medication counselling and dispensing practices at community pharmacies by improving the skills of the dispensers through a mix of interventions, and law should be implemented to ensure presence of qualified person which in turn will result in the provision of better patient oriented services at community pharmacies.
METHOD: Structured interviews with community pharmacists. Informed consent was obtained and interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Content analysis of themes on awareness of ADR reporting, reporting activities, attitudes and views on patient reporting.
RESULTS: All pharmacists claimed to have some knowledge of a reporting system but only one had submitted a report directly to the regulatory authority. Despite the low level of reporting activities, all participants agreed that it was part of their professional obligation to report an ADR. Most participants were not aware of the direct patient reporting scheme and were skeptical about its success. Lack of awareness and patients' limited knowledge about their medications were viewed as barriers to patient reporting. Local attitudinal issues including pharmacists' attitude towards ADR reporting were described as possible contributing factors.
CONCLUSION: Community pharmacists have an important role in reporting ADRs. Many Malaysian patients are still perceived to be ill-informed of their medications, an important determinant to the success of patient reporting. There is a need for further training about ADRs and ADR reporting for health professionals and further education for patients.
DESIGN: A required 2-credit-hour course was designed to provide an overview of public health pharmacy roles and the behavioral aspects of human healthcare issues. Graded activities included nursing home visits, in-class quizzes, mini-projects, and poster sessions, and a comprehensive final examination.
ASSESSMENT: The majority of the students performed well on the class activities and 93 (71.5%) of the 130 students enrolled received a grade of B or higher. A Web-based survey was administered at the end of the semester and 90% of students indicated that they had benefited from the course and were glad that it was offered. The majority of students agreed that the course made an impact in preparing them for their future role as pharmacists and expanded their understanding of the public health roles of a pharmacist.
CONCLUSIONS: A public health pharmacy course was successfully designed and implemented in the BPharm curriculum. This study highlighted the feasibilities of introducing courses that are of global relevance into a Malaysian pharmacy curriculum. The findings from the students' evaluation suggest the needs to incorporate a similar course in all pharmacy schools in the country and will be used as a guide to improve the contents and methods of delivery of the course at our school.
METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted among community pharmacists between March-April, 2015, using a self-administered, pre-tested questionnaire in the State of Selangor, Malaysia. A simple random sampling approach was used to select pharmacy sites. Descriptive and inferential statistical methods were used to analyse the data.
RESULTS: A total of 188 pharmacists responded to the survey, giving a response rate of 83.5%. The majority of participants (n = 182, 96.8%) believed that antimicrobial stewardship program helps healthcare professionals to improve the quality of patient care. However, more than half of pharmacists were neutral in their opinion about the incorporation of antimicrobial stewardship programs in community pharmacies (n = 102, 54.2%). Though collaboration was often done by pharmacists with other health professionals over the use of antibiotics (n = 104, 55.3%), a significant proportion of participants (n = 102, 54.2%) rarely/occasionally participate in antimicrobial awareness campaigns. Pharmacists having postgraduate qualification were more likely to held positive perceptions of, and were engaged in, antimicrobial stewardship than their non-postgraduate counterpart (p<0.05). Similarly, more experienced pharmacists (> 10 years) held positive perceptions towards antimicrobial stewardship (p<0.05).
CONCLUSION: The study highlighted some gaps in the perception and practices of community pharmacist towards antimicrobial stewardship. Development of customized interventions would be critical to bridging these gaps and improve their perception and practices towards antimicrobial stewardship.
METHODS: A self-administered KAP questionnaire was distributed to a convenience sample of pharmacists in Kuala Lumpur identified from the list of licensed community pharmacists in Malaysia year 2014.
KEY FINDINGS: Questionnaires were returned by 111 pharmacists of 143 distributed (response rate, 78%). Most of the respondents (82%) were not trained in travel medicine. Overall, mean knowledge score was 4.4 ( ± 1.7), indicating a moderate level of knowledge on a variety of travel-related health issues. Community pharmacists who graduated from foreign universities possessed significantly higher knowledge scores than did those who graduated locally (P < 0.05). The majority had a positive attitude towards travel medicine. A vast majority provided travel medicine advice mainly to adults who travel as tourists, and the primary travel advice given was on traveller's diarrhoea.
CONCLUSION: There are gaps in the knowledge and practice of travel medicine among Malaysian pharmacists. Positive attitudes of pharmacists towards travel medicine and appropriate interventions, such as incorporation of travel medicine in local pharmacy curricula, continuous pharmacy education or certified training may improve the quality of travel advice given and allow pharmacists to be recognised as a credible source of information on travel medicine.
DESIGN: Systematic review and meta-analysis.
SETTING: Primary care setting.
PARTICIPANTS: Of 1568 studies screened, 14 studies with 7035 PWID were included.
MEASURES: PubMed, Embase, Web of Sciences, CENTRAL and Cochrane review databases were searched without language restriction from their inception to 27 January 2016. All published study designs with control groups that reported the effectiveness of pharmacy-based NSP on outcomes of interest were included. Outcomes of interest are risk behaviour (RB), HIV/hepatitis C virus (HCV) prevalence and economic outcomes. The estimates of pooled effects of these outcomes were calculated as pooled odds ratio (OR) with 95% confidence interval (CI) using a random-effects model. Heterogeneity was assessed by I2 and χ2 tests.
FINDINGS: Most studies (nine of 14, 64.3%) were rated as having a serious risk of bias, while 28.6 and 7.1% were rated as having a moderate risk and low risk of bias, respectively. For sharing-syringe behaviour, pharmacy-based NSPs were significantly better than no NSPs for both main (OR = 0.50, 95% CI = 0.34-0.73; I2 = 59.6%) and sensitivity analyses, excluding studies with a serious risk of bias (OR = 0.52, 95% CI = 0.32-0.84; I2 = 41.4%). For safe syringe disposal and HIV/HCV prevalence, the evidence for pharmacy-based NSPs compared with other NSP or no NSP was unclear, as few of the studies reported this and most of them had a serious risk of bias. Compared with the total life-time cost of US$55 640 for treating a person with HIV infection, the HIV prevalence among PWID has to be at least 0.8% (for pharmacy-based NSPs) or 2.1% (for other NSPs) to result in cost-savings.
CONCLUSIONS: Pharmacy-based needle/syringe exchange programmes appear to be effective for reducing risk behaviours among people who inject drugs, although their effect on HIV/HCV prevalence and economic outcomes is unclear.