Exploring self-care and wellness: a model for pharmacist compensation by managed care organizations. (1/319)

Self-care and wellness are rapidly becoming mainstays of practice for many pharmacists. Consumer confidence and trust in pharmacists provides continuing opportunities for pharmacists to create products and services to satisfy consumer demands related to disease prevention and healthcare delivery. We outline two pharmacy wellness programs designed to meet consumer needs, and offer them as models for pharmacists. Issues related to the program and extent of involvement by pharmacists are raised, including the role of the pharmacists in behavior modification efforts; selecting areas of focus (e.g., smoking cessation); working with physicians for referrals; enlightening community business leaders and managed care organizations to the economic benefits of the program; and developing strategies for fair purchase of services to achieve program goals and provide adequate compensation in return.  (+info)

Repeat dispensing by community pharmacists: advantages for patients and practitioners. (2/319)

Repeat prescribing is an appreciable chore for general practitioners (GPs), and often lacks rigorous clinical control. This paper reports on a pilot repeat dispensing system, which employed community pharmacists to streamline the process and provide clinical supervision. The system described operated within the current regulations, was popular, and worked well for patients on stable treatment regimes.  (+info)

Clinical pharmacy interventions by community pharmacists during the dispensing process. (3/319)

AIMS: To evaluate the professional contact between the community pharmacist and general practitioner during the dispensing process on issues other than the legality or simple clarification of the prescription. METHODS: Fourteen community pharmacists from five adjacent localities completed details of each clinical pharmacy intervention during 1 week of each month for a period of 1 year. Each week of the month was randomly selected. When a community pharmacist had to contact the prescriber, during the dispensing of a prescription, the following data were recorded: brief patient details, the prescribed drug therapy, the reason for intervention, the outcome and the time taken. The main outcome measures were the type and nature of each intervention, the BNF category of the drug involved and the time taken. A multidisciplinary clinical panel assessed the potential of each intervention to alter the outcome of the patient's clinical management and to prevent a drug related hospital admission. These assessments were ranked between 0 and 10 (100% confident). RESULTS: During a period covering 1 week per month over 1 year, 1503 clinical pharmacy interventions were made out of 201 000 items dispensed. When normalized for the dispensing volume of each community pharmacy the lower the number of items dispensed then the greater was the percentage of interventions (P=0.013). The clinical panel decided that between 19 (0.01% of the total items dispensed) and 242 (0.12%) interventions may have prevented a drug-related hospital admission, 71 (0.04%) to 483 (0.24%) could have prevented harm whilst 103 (0.05%) to 364 (0.18%) had the potential to improve the efficacy of the intended therapeutic plan. The panel also decided that 748 (0.37%) interventions improved the clinical outcome and could have saved a visit to or by the general practitioner. Conclusion Clinical pharmacy provided by a community pharmacist during the dispensing process has the potential to provide a valuable contribution to health care.  (+info)

Changing home treatment of childhood fevers by training shop keepers in rural Kenya. (4/319)

BACKGROUND: Malaria control in Africa relies primarily on early effective treatment for clinical disease, but most early treatments for fever occur through self-medication with shop-bought drugs. Lack of information to community members on over-the-counter drug use has led to widespread ineffective treatment of fevers, increased risks of drug toxicity and accelerating drug resistance. We examined the feasibility and measured the likely impact of training shop keepers in rural Africa on community drug use. METHODS: In a rural area of coastal Kenya, we implemented a shop keeper training programme in 23 shops serving a population of approximately 3500, based on formative research within the community. We evaluated the training by measuring changes in the proportions of drug sales where an adequate amount of chloroquine was purchased and in the percentage of home-treated childhood fevers given an adequate amount of chloroquine. The programme was assessed qualitatively in the community following the shop keeper training. RESULTS: The percentage of drug sales for children with fever which included an antimalarial drug rose from 34.3% (95% CI 28.9%-40.1%) before the training to a minimum of 79.3% (95% CI 71.8%-85.3%) after the training. The percentage of antimalarial drug sales where an adequate amount of drug was purchased rose from 31.8% (95% CI 26.6%-37.6%) to a minimum of 82.9% (95% CI 76.3%-87.3%). The percentage of childhood fevers where an adequate dose of chloroquine was given to the child rose from 3.7% (95% CI 1.2%-9.7%) before the training to a minimum of 65.2% (95% CI 57.7%-72.0%) afterwards, which represents an increase in the appropriate use of over-the-counter chloroquine by at least 62% (95% CI 53.7%-69.3%). Shop keepers and community members were strongly supportive of the aims and outcome of the programme. CONCLUSIONS: The large shifts in behaviour observed indicate that the approach of training shop keepers as a channel for information to the community is both feasible and likely to have a significant impact. Whilst some of the impact seen may be attributable to research effects in a relatively small scale pilot study, the magnitude of the changes support further investigation into this approach as a potentially important new strategy in malaria control.  (+info)

Prescribing and dispensing for drug misusers in primary care: current practice in Scotland. (5/319)

BACKGROUND: Substitute prescribing has increased in Scotland, as in the rest of the UK. Both GPs and pharmacists are becoming increasingly involved in service provision for drug misusers, but anecdotal evidence has suggested considerable variation in prescribing and dispensing practice. OBJECTIVE: We aimed to gain baseline data on (i) current prescribing practice by medical practitioners and drug agencies, (ii) dispensing practice by community pharmacists across Scotland for the management of drug misuse and (iii) variations in practice between health boards. METHODS: A structured questionnaire was posted to all community pharmacies in Scotland (n = 1142), in order to gather information on prescribing from prescriptions held at the time of the survey and information on current dispensing practice in managing drug misusers. RESULTS: The response rate was 79%. Sixty-one per cent of pharmacists were currently dispensing drugs for the management of drug misuse. The most frequently prescribed drug was methadone, dispensed by 46% of pharmacists, followed by diazepam (37%), dihydrocodeine (26%) and temazepam (25%). Sixty-five per cent of methadone prescriptions were dispensed daily on request from the prescriber. Of the 3387 people receiving a methadone prescription, 32.9% had to consume their daily dose on the pharmacy premises under a pharmacist's supervision. Nineteen per cent of pharmacies currently provided a service to supervise the consumption of methadone by clients and a further 14% were prepared to but had no current demand. The proportion of prescriptions requiring supervision of methadone consumption varied considerably between health board areas. CONCLUSIONS: Methadone is the most widely prescribed drug for drug misuse across Scotland, but there is considerable variation between health board areas in how prescribing is managed. Prescribing practice should be revised locally, in a process involving GPs and pharmacists. Pharmacists have an important role in preventing drug misuse in primary care, but need further support to optimize good practice.  (+info)

Controlled trial of pharmacist intervention in general practice: the effect on prescribing costs. (6/319)

BACKGROUND: It has been suggested that the employment of pharmacists in general practice might moderate the growth in prescribing costs. However, empirical evidence for this proposition has been lacking. We report the results of a controlled trial of pharmacist intervention in United Kingdom general practice. AIM: To determine whether intervention practices made savings relative to controls. METHOD: An evaluation of an initiative set up by Doncaster Health Authority. Eight practices agreed to take part and received intensive input from five pharmacists for one year (September 1996 to August 1997) at a cost of 163,000 Pounds. Changes in prescribing patterns were investigated by comparing these practices with eight individually matched controls for both the year of the intervention and the previous year. Prescribing data (PACTLINE) were used to assess these changes. The measures used to take account of differences in the populations of the practices included the ASTRO-PU for overall prescribing and the STAR-PU for prescribing in specific therapeutic areas. Differences between intervention and control practices were subjected to Wilcoxon matched-pairs, signed-ranks tests. RESULTS: The median (minimum to maximum) rise in prescribing costs per ASTRO-PU was 0.85 Pound (-1.95 Pounds to 2.05 Pounds) in the intervention practices compared with 2.55 Pounds (1.74 Pounds to 4.65 Pounds) in controls (P = 0.025). Had the cost growth of the intervention group been as high as that of the controls, their total prescribing expenditure would have been around 347,000 Pounds higher. CONCLUSION: This study suggests that the use of pharmacists did control prescribing expenditure sufficiently to offset their employment costs.  (+info)

Drug utilization evaluation of nonprescription H2-receptor antagonists and alginate-containing preparations for dyspepsia. (7/319)

AIMS: To evaluate the use, efficacy and adverse effects of nonprescription H2-receptor antagonists and alginate-containing preparations obtained from community pharmacies. METHODS: Questionnaires were distributed to customers from 39 pharmacies in Scotland and Wales. RESULTS: Of 767 customers recruited, 608 (79.3%) returned an initial questionnaire and 472 (61.5%) customers a second questionnaire. The vast majority of respondents (424, 69.7%) had suffered their symptoms on three or more occasions and 369 (60.7%) had previously tried medicines to relieve their symptoms. Referrals to a doctor were less frequent than recommended in guidelines and few of those who were referred actually saw a doctor. Over a quarter of those returning the second questionnaire claimed to be taking more than one product simultaneously for symptom control. Eight customers who were taking prescribed ulcer-healing drugs obtained H2-receptor antagonists. The majority of respondents (355/472, 75. 2%) obtained some or complete symptom relief using the product obtained and 369/472 (78.2%) were completely satisfied with their product. H2-receptor antagonists were more likely to produce complete relief of symptoms than alginate-containing preparations (P < 0.05). Only 14 respondents (3.0%) reported side-effects from the product used which were mostly gastro-intestinal. CONCLUSIONS: The study demonstrated that drug utilization studies are feasible to carry out in a community pharmacy setting. While the results support published evidence of the efficacy and minimal toxicity of these products, they also highlight the possibility of H2-receptor antagonists being used outwith their licenced indications.  (+info)

STD management by private pharmacies in Hanoi: practice and knowledge of drug sellers. (8/319)

BACKGROUND: Prompt treatment of sexually transmitted infections may reduce the incidence of HIV/AIDS infections. With health sector reforms private pharmacies are increasingly the first and only contact with health delivery services. OBJECTIVES: To find out how patients with STDs are treated at private pharmacies in Hanoi, and what drug sellers know about STD management. METHODS: Five simulated clients were taught to adopt a scenario stating that their friend had a urethral discharge. They visited 60 randomly selected private pharmacies in urban Hanoi and noted all questions asked, advice offered, and treatment given. Afterwards interviewers administered a semistructured questionnaire to all people working in the 60 pharmacies. RESULTS: Drug treatment was given in 84% of the 297 encounters averaging 1.5 drugs and 1.2 antibiotics per encounter. Quinolones were given 188 times. No dispensing was adequate for chlamydia or was in accordance with the national guidelines. No questions were asked in 55% of encounters and no advice was given in 61%. Questions on sexual activity were asked in 23% (69) of cases and about the health of the partner twice (1%). Advice to practise safe sex was given in 1% of encounters and for the partner to seek treatment only once. Of 69 questionnaires administered 51% said they would refer to a doctor, 16% said they would ask about the sexual activity 1% said they would ask about the health of the partner, 7% said they would advise using a condom, and 1% advised telling the partner to seek treatment. Even after prompting, 61% would ask no questions and 80% would give no advice. CONCLUSIONS: Even though 74% of pharmacists and drug sellers know that they should not treat STD patients, 84% actually did. None gave syndromically correct treatment. In both the questionnaire and during the simulated client methods, numbers advising on partner notification and condom use were very poor. Educational or peer awareness interventions are urgently needed among private pharmacists in Vietnam.  (+info)