KEY FINDINGS: Research philosophy has been introduced to offer an alternative way to think about problem-driven research that is normally conducted. To clarify the research philosophy, four research paradigms, i.e. positivism (or empiricism), postpositivism (or realism), interpretivism (or constructivism) and pragmatism, are investigated according to philosophical realms, i.e. ontology, epistemology, axiology and logic of inquiry. With the application of research philosophy, some examples of quantitative and qualitative research were elaborated along with the conventional research approach. Understanding research philosophy is crucial for pharmacy researchers and pharmacists, as it underpins the choice of methodology and data collection.
CONCLUSIONS: The review provides the overview of research philosophy and its application in pharmacy practice research. Further discussion on this vital issue is warranted to help generate quality evidence for pharmacy practice.
METHODS: All patients admitted to UKMMC in 2011 were recruited in this study. Combination of Step-down and Bottom-up costing methodology has been used in this study. The drug and supplies cost; the cost of staff; the overhead cost; and the equipment cost make up the four components of pharmacy. Direct costing approach has been employed to calculate Drugs and supplies cost from electronic-prescription system; and the inpatient pharmacy staff cost, while the overhead cost and the pharmacy equipments cost have been calculated indirectly from MY-DRG data base. The total pharmacy cost was obtained by summing the four pharmacy components' cost per each MY-DRG. The Pharmacy service weight of a MY-DRG was estimated by dividing the average pharmacy cost of the investigated MY-DRG on the average of a specified MY-DRG (which usually the average pharmacy cost of all MY-DRGs).
RESULTS: Drugs and supplies were the main component (86.0%) of pharmacy cost compared o overhead cost centers (7.3%), staff cost (6.5%) and pharmacy equipments (0.2%) respectively. Out of 789 inpatient MY-DRGs case-mix groups, 450 (57.0%) groups were utilized by the UKMMC. Pharmacy service weight has been calculated for each of these 450 MY-DRGs groups. MY-DRG case-mix group of Lymphoma & Chronic Leukemia group with severity level three (C-4-11-III) has the highest pharmacy service weight of 11.8 equivalents to average pharmacy cost of RM 5383.90. While the MY-DRG case-mix group for Circumcision with severity level one (V-1-15-I) has the lowest pharmacy service weight of 0.04 equivalents to average pharmacy cost of RM 17.83.
CONCLUSION: A mixed approach which is based partly on top-down and partly on bottom up costing methodology has been recruited to develop MY-DRG case-mix pharmacy service weight for 450 groups utilized by the UKMMC in 2011.
METHODS: Semi-structured interviews were conducted in Thailand with 130 stakeholders (e.g., policy makers, pharmacy experts, educators, health care providers, patients, students and parents) from August-October 2013. The interviews were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed using an inductive thematic analysis.
RESULTS: Three main themes were derived from the findings: 1. influences on curriculum change (e.g., the needs of pharmacists to provide better patient care, the US-Thai consortium for the development of pharmacy education); 2. perceived benefits (e.g., improve pharmacy competencies from generalists to specialists, ready to work after graduation, providing a high quality of patient care); and 3. concerns (e.g., the higher costs of study for a longer period of time, the mismatch between the pharmacy graduates' competency and the job market's needs, insufficient preceptors and training sites, lack of practical experience of the faculty members and issues related to the separate licenses that are necessary due to the difference in the graduates' specialties).
CONCLUSIONS: This is the first study to highlight the issues surrounding the transition to the 6-year PharmD programme in Thailand, which was initiated due to the need for higher levels of competency among the nation's pharmacists. The transition was influenced by many factors. Many participants perceived benefits from the new pharmacy curriculum. However, some participants were concerned about this transition. Although most of the respondents accepted the need to go forward to the 6-year PharmD programme, designing an effective curriculum, providing a sufficient number of qualified PharmD preceptors, determining certain competencies of pharmacists in different practices and monitoring the quality of pharmacy education still need to be addressed during this transitional stage of pharmacy education in Thailand.
METHODS: A 23-item survey instrument that included a question on the bioequivalence limits and Likert-type scale questions regarding the understanding and perceptions of generic medicines among the students was executed. Cronbach's alpha was found to be 0.62.
RESULTS: Responses were obtained from 236 final-year Doctor of Pharmacy students (n=85 from a publicly funded institute; n=151 from a privately funded institute). When comparing a brand-name medicine to a generic medicine, pharmacy students scored poorly on bioequivalence limits. More than 80% of the students incorrectly answered that all the products that are rated as generic equivalents are therapeutically equivalent to each other (P<0.04). Half of the students agreed that a generic medicine is bioequivalent to the brand-name medicine (P<0.001). With regard to quality, effectiveness, and safety, more than 75% of the students disagreed that generic medicines are of inferior quality and are less effective than brand-name medicines (P<0.001). More than 50% of the students disagreed that generic medicines produce more side effects than brand-name medicines (P<0.001).
CONCLUSION: The current study identified a positive perception toward generic medicines but also gaps in the understanding of generic medicines. Pharmacy students lacked a thorough understanding of the concepts of bioequivalence. Pharmacy academia should address these issues, which will help build confidence in generic medicines and increase the generic medicine use in Pakistan.