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Pharmacy, Volume 12, Issue 1 (February 2024) – 39 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): This paper describes a guide for designing, implementing, and evaluating a training program for Australian pharmacists in Trans and gender-diverse (TGD) healthcare. Utilizing the Implementation Mapping Framework, the program design involved active collaboration with TGD people and pharmacists for alignment with cultural, social, and healthcare contexts. This paper introduces Gender Inclusivity in the Pharmacy Framework, facilitating the development of online modules covering language, terminology, key healthcare issues, gender-affirming therapies, and case studies. Both the Implementation Mapping Framework and the Gender Inclusivity in Pharmacy Framework were effective tools for developing an educational program to enhance pharmacists' TGD healthcare knowledge. View this paper
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16 pages, 658 KiB  
Review
Medication Review: What’s in a Name and What Is It about?
by Anneleen Robberechts, Maja Brumer, Victoria Garcia-Cardenas, Niurka M. Dupotey, Stephane Steurbaut, Guido R. Y. De Meyer and Hans De Loof
Pharmacy 2024, 12(1), 39; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy12010039 - 19 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1794
Abstract
Background: Medication review is a multifaceted service aimed at optimizing the use of medicines and enhancing the health outcomes of patients. Due to its complexity, it is crucial to clearly describe the service, its variants, and its components to avoid confusion and ensure [...] Read more.
Background: Medication review is a multifaceted service aimed at optimizing the use of medicines and enhancing the health outcomes of patients. Due to its complexity, it is crucial to clearly describe the service, its variants, and its components to avoid confusion and ensure a better understanding of medication review among healthcare providers. Aim: This study aims to bring clarity to the origins, definitions, abbreviations, and types of medication reviews, together with the primary criteria that delineate key features of this service. Method: A narrative review approach was employed to clarify the diverse terminology associated with “medication review” services. Relevant references were initially identified through searches on PubMed and Google Scholar, complementing the existing literature known to the authors. Results: The study uncovers a complicated and sometimes convoluted history of “medication review” in different regions around the world. The initial optimization of medicine use had an economic purpose before evolving subsequently into a more patient-oriented approach. A selection of abbreviations, definitions, and types were outlined to enhance the understanding of the service. Conclusions: The study underscores the urgent need for comprehensive information and standardization regarding the content and quality of the services, collectively referred to as “medication review”. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pharmacists: Key Players in a Changing Health Care System)
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7 pages, 841 KiB  
Case Report
Two Cases of Vancomycin-Induced Neutropenia
by Kirsten Ganaja, Sarah Scoular and Staci Hemmer
Pharmacy 2024, 12(1), 38; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy12010038 - 19 Feb 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1427
Abstract
(1) Background: The incidence of vancomycin-induced neutropenia in hospitalized patients is estimated to be around 2 to 8 percent Data surrounding vancomycin-induced neutropenia is limited as it is based on a small number of observational case reports. Additionally, it is difficult to provide [...] Read more.
(1) Background: The incidence of vancomycin-induced neutropenia in hospitalized patients is estimated to be around 2 to 8 percent Data surrounding vancomycin-induced neutropenia is limited as it is based on a small number of observational case reports. Additionally, it is difficult to provide generalized conclusions since patient characteristics and indications for treatment vary between reports. (2) Case Reports: We present two cases of vancomycin-induced neutropenia that occurred at our facility; a 50-year-old male who developed neutropenia after treatment with vancomycin for a gluteal abscess and a 51-year-old female who developed neutropenia after treatment with vancomycin for lumbar osteomyelitis. In both cases, neutropenia resolved within 2 days of discontinuation of vancomycin. (3) Conclusions: Vancomycin-induced neutropenia is thought to be a relatively uncommon adverse drug reaction. These two cases of neutropenia likely caused by prolonged exposure to vancomycin occurred at our facility within 3 months of each other. Additional studies are needed to better understand the true incidence of this adverse drug reaction and to identify risk factors that may predispose patients to vancomycin-induced neutropenia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antimicrobial Adverse Reaction and Drug-Drug Interactions)
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14 pages, 2253 KiB  
Article
Development of a Prediction Model to Identify the Risk of Clostridioides difficile Infection in Hospitalized Patients Receiving at Least One Dose of Antibiotics
by Abdulrahman Alamri, AlHanoof Bin Abbas, Ekram Al Hassan and Yasser Almogbel
Pharmacy 2024, 12(1), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy12010037 - 19 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1336
Abstract
Objective: This study’s objective was to develop a risk-prediction model to identify hospitalized patients at risk of Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI) who had received at least one dose of systemic antibiotics in a large tertiary hospital. Patients and methods: This was a retrospective [...] Read more.
Objective: This study’s objective was to develop a risk-prediction model to identify hospitalized patients at risk of Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI) who had received at least one dose of systemic antibiotics in a large tertiary hospital. Patients and methods: This was a retrospective case–control study that included patients hospitalized for more than 2 days who received antibiotic therapy during hospitalization. The study included two groups: patients diagnosed with hospital CDI and controls without hospital CDI. Cases were matched 1:3 with assigned controls by age and sex. Descriptive statistics were used to identify the study population by comparing cases with controls. Continuous variables were stated as the means and standard deviations. A multivariate analysis was built to identify the significantly associated covariates between cases and controls for CDI. Results: A total of 364 patients were included and distributed between the two groups. The control group included 273 patients, and the case group included 91 patients. The risk factors for CDI were investigated, with only significant risks identified and included in the risk assessment model: age older than 70 years (p = 0.034), chronic kidney disease (p = 0.043), solid organ transplantation (p = 0.021), and lymphoma or leukemia (p = 0.019). A risk score of ≥2 showed the best sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of 78.02%, 45.42%, and 78.02, respectively, with an area under the curve of 0.6172. Conclusion: We identified four associated risk factors in the risk-prediction model. The tool showed good discrimination that might help predict, identify, and evaluate hospitalized patients at risk of developing CDI. Full article
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12 pages, 233 KiB  
Article
How Intuitive Is the Administration of Pediatric Emergency Medication Devices for Parents? Objective Observation and Subjective Self-Assessment
by Ruth Melinda Müller, Birthe Herziger, Sarah Jeschke, Martina Patrizia Neininger, Thilo Bertsche and Astrid Bertsche
Pharmacy 2024, 12(1), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy12010036 - 18 Feb 2024
Viewed by 985
Abstract
Background: to assess the intuitiveness of parents’ administration of pediatric emergency devices (inhalation, rectal, buccal, nasal, and auto-injector). Methods: We invited parents without prior experience to administer the five devices to dummy dolls. We observed whether the parents chose the correct administration route [...] Read more.
Background: to assess the intuitiveness of parents’ administration of pediatric emergency devices (inhalation, rectal, buccal, nasal, and auto-injector). Methods: We invited parents without prior experience to administer the five devices to dummy dolls. We observed whether the parents chose the correct administration route and subsequently performed the correct administration procedures without clinically relevant errors. We interviewed parents for their self-assessment of their own administration performance and willingness to administer devices in actual emergencies. Results: The correct administration route was best for the inhalation device (81/84, 96% of parents) and worst for the intranasal device (25/126, 20%). The correct administration procedures were best for the buccal device (63/98, 64%) and worst for the auto-injector device (0/93, 0%). Their own administration performance was rated to be best by parents for the inhalation device (59/84, 70%) and worst for the auto-injector device (17/93, 18%). The self-assessment of the correct administration overestimated the correct administration procedures for all the devices except the buccal one. Most parents were willing to administer the inhalation device in an emergency (67/94, 79%), while the fewest were willing to administration procedures the auto-injector device (28/93, 30%). Conclusions: Intuitiveness concerning the correct administration route and the subsequent correct administration procedures have to be improved for all the devices examined. The parents mostly overestimated their performance. Willingness to use a device in an actual emergency depended on the device. Full article
19 pages, 1338 KiB  
Systematic Review
Strategies to Improve Therapeutic Adherence in Polymedicated Patients over 65 Years: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
by Natalia Burgos-Alonso, María Torrecilla, Aitziber Mendiguren, Marta Pérez-Gómez Moreta and Cristina Bruzos-Cidón
Pharmacy 2024, 12(1), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy12010035 - 17 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1305
Abstract
Background: Part of the population over 65 years of age suffer from several pathologies and are therefore polymedicated. In this systematic review and metanalysis, we aimed to determine the efficacy of several strategies developed to improve adherence to pharmacological treatment in polymedicated elderly [...] Read more.
Background: Part of the population over 65 years of age suffer from several pathologies and are therefore polymedicated. In this systematic review and metanalysis, we aimed to determine the efficacy of several strategies developed to improve adherence to pharmacological treatment in polymedicated elderly people. Design: Web Of Science, PubMed and the Cochrane Library were searched until 2 January 2024. In total, 17 of the 1508 articles found evaluated the efficacy of interventions to improve adherence to medication in polymedicated elderly patients. Methodological quality and the risk of bias were rated using the Cochrane risk of bias tool. Open Meta Analyst® software was used to create forest plots of the meta-analysis. Results: In 11 of the 17 studies, an improvement in adherence was observed through the use of different measurement tools and sometimes in combination. The most frequently used strategy was using instructions and counselling, always in combination, in a single strategy used to improve adherence; one involved the use of medication packs and the other patient follow-up. In both cases, the results in improving adherence were positive. Five studies using follow-up interventions via visits and phone calls showed improved adherence on the Morisky Green scale compared to those where usual care was received [OR = 1.900; 95% CI = 1.104–3.270] (p = 0.021). Discussion: There is a high degree of heterogeneity in the studies analyzed, both in the interventions used and in the measurement tools for improving adherence to treatment. Therefore, we cannot make conclusions about the most efficacious strategy to improve medication adherence in polymedicated elderly patients until more evidence of single-intervention strategies is available. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pharmacy Practice and Practice-Based Research)
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12 pages, 470 KiB  
Review
A Review of Olanzapine in the Treatment of Cancer Anorexia-Cachexia Syndrome
by Ivy O. Poon, Veronica Ajewole and Ursula K. Braun
Pharmacy 2024, 12(1), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy12010034 - 17 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1355
Abstract
Background: Cancer anorexia-cachexia syndrome (CAS) is a multifactorial condition that is highly prevalent in advanced cancer patients and associated with significant reduction in functional performance, reduction in quality of life, and increased mortality. Currently, no medications are approved for this indication. Recently, the [...] Read more.
Background: Cancer anorexia-cachexia syndrome (CAS) is a multifactorial condition that is highly prevalent in advanced cancer patients and associated with significant reduction in functional performance, reduction in quality of life, and increased mortality. Currently, no medications are approved for this indication. Recently, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) released a rapid recommendation suggesting that low-dose olanzapine once daily may be used to treat cancer cachexia. Many questions still exist on how to use olanzapine for this indication in clinical practice. The objective of this review is to identify existing knowledge on the use of olanzapine for CAS. Methods: A comprehensive search was conducted to identify the primary literature that involved olanzapine for anorexia and cachexia in cancer patients between 2000 and 2023. Results: Seven articles were identified and are discussed here, including two randomized double-blinded placebo-controlled studies, one randomized comparative study, two prospective open-label studies, one retrospective chart review, and one case report. Conclusions: Low dose olanzapine (2.5–5 mg once daily) may be useful in the treatment of CAS for increasing appetite, reducing nausea and vomiting, and promoting weight gain. Further large-scale multi-center randomized placebo-controlled studies will be needed to investigate the impact of olanzapine on weight change in CAS patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medicine Use and Management in Palliative Care)
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13 pages, 824 KiB  
Review
New Adverse Drug Reaction Signals from 2017 to 2021—Genuine Alerts or False Alarms?
by Yoon Kong Loke, Katharina Mattishent and Navena Navaneetharaja
Pharmacy 2024, 12(1), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy12010033 - 10 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1284
Abstract
Spontaneous adverse events reporting systems are used internationally to flag new or unexpected adverse drug reactions (ADRs). Disproportionality analysis is a recognised technique, but false alarms may arise. We aimed to determine whether these new ADR signals had subsequently been followed-up with detailed [...] Read more.
Spontaneous adverse events reporting systems are used internationally to flag new or unexpected adverse drug reactions (ADRs). Disproportionality analysis is a recognised technique, but false alarms may arise. We aimed to determine whether these new ADR signals had subsequently been followed-up with detailed hypothesis-testing studies. We searched PubMed to identify published studies (years 2017–2021) where the authors reported findings of new ADR signals from disproportionality analyses. We used PubMed and forward citation tracking (Google Scholar) to identify any subsequent confirmatory studies of these ADR signals. We screened 414 titles and abstracts and checked the full-text articles of 57 studies. We found signals for 56 suspected new ADRs from 24 drugs. Google Scholar showed that the ADR studies had been cited a median of seven times (range 0–61). However, none of the suspected new ADRs had undergone detailed evaluation in the citing literature. Similarly, our PubMed search did not find any confirmation studies for the 56 suspected new ADRs. Although many suspected new ADR signals have been identified through disproportionality analysis, most signals have not been further verified as being either genuine ADRs or false alarms. Researchers must focus on follow-up studies for these new signals. Full article
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11 pages, 2287 KiB  
Article
Enteral Delivery of Pravastatin Sodium Tablets: Effect of Compounding into a Liquid Form and Co-Administration of Enteral Nutrition
by Serena Logrippo, Roberta Ganzetti, Matteo Sestili, Diego Romano Perinelli, Marco Cespi and Giulia Bonacucina
Pharmacy 2024, 12(1), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy12010032 - 09 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1119
Abstract
Background: Compounding solid oral dosage forms into liquid preparations is a common practice for administering drug therapy to patients with swallowing difficulties. This is particularly relevant for those on enteral nutrition, where factors such as the administration procedure and co-administration of enteral nutrition [...] Read more.
Background: Compounding solid oral dosage forms into liquid preparations is a common practice for administering drug therapy to patients with swallowing difficulties. This is particularly relevant for those on enteral nutrition, where factors such as the administration procedure and co-administration of enteral nutrition play crucial roles in effective drug delivery. Due to the limited studies focused on this practice, the impact of co-administered nutrition remains unclear. Methods: Pravastatin tablets were compounded into two liquid formulations and administered through three independent tubes for ten cycles. The drug amount was quantified upstream and downstream of the tubes both with and without different (fiber content) nutritional boluses. Results: The compounding procedure did not lower the drug amount with respect to the original tablets. However, when the liquid formulation was pumped through the tubes, a statistically significant reduction in the pravastatin administered (between 4.6% and 11.3%) was observed. The co-administration of different nutritional boluses or the compounding procedure did not affect the general results. Conclusions: Pravastatin loss appears unavoidable when administered via the enteral tube. Although, in this case, the loss was of limited clinical relevance, it is important not to underestimate this phenomenon, especially with drugs having a narrow therapeutic index. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovations in Clinical Pharmacy: Towards Optimized Patient Care)
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12 pages, 1864 KiB  
Article
Collaborative Prescribing Practice in Managing Patients Post-Bariatric Surgery in a Tertiary Centre in Singapore
by Giat Yeng Khee, Paik Shia Lim, Yoke Ling Chan and Phong Ching Lee
Pharmacy 2024, 12(1), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy12010031 - 08 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1256
Abstract
Background: A collaborative prescribing (CP) practice model, established by the endocrinologists, pharmacists, and advanced practice nurses, aims to provide for the postoperative monitoring and medical and nutritional management of stable patients after bariatric surgery. Method: Under the CP agreement, endocrinologists refer patients who [...] Read more.
Background: A collaborative prescribing (CP) practice model, established by the endocrinologists, pharmacists, and advanced practice nurses, aims to provide for the postoperative monitoring and medical and nutritional management of stable patients after bariatric surgery. Method: Under the CP agreement, endocrinologists refer patients who have undergone bariatric surgery with stable medical conditions to CP practitioners, comprising senior pharmacists and advanced practice nurses. CP practitioners review the patient’s weight loss progress, blood test results and vitals, the sufficiency of micronutrient repletion, adherence to supplements and medications, and chronic disease control. CP practitioners can prescribe and adjust the medications and supplements, in accordance with a clinical evaluation and standard guidance. Patients who require immediate attention due to complications or red flags are referred to the primary endocrinologist for further management. Results: From 5 May 2020 to 30 September 2023, CP practitioners provided 672 consultations. At least 68% and 80% of patients achieved appropriate weight loss post-surgery during the acute and maintenance phases, respectively. Less than 10% of the patients presented with anaemia and iron deficiency, and vitamin B12, folate and vitamin D deficiency. More than 80% of patients achieved a HbA1c of less than 7%. Conclusions: The CP practice framework provides a sustainable and viable model to facilitate optimal outcomes after bariatric surgery. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pharmacy Practice and Practice-Based Research)
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13 pages, 3541 KiB  
Review
Review of Leishmaniasis Treatment: Can We See the Forest through the Trees?
by Moshe Shmueli and Shalom Ben-Shimol
Pharmacy 2024, 12(1), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy12010030 - 08 Feb 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1437
Abstract
There are three known clinical syndromes of leishmaniasis: cutaneous (CL), mucocutaneous (MCL), and visceral disease (VL). In MCL and VL, treatment must be systemic (either oral or intravenous), while CL treatment options vary and include observation-only localized/topical treatment, oral medications, or parenteral drugs. [...] Read more.
There are three known clinical syndromes of leishmaniasis: cutaneous (CL), mucocutaneous (MCL), and visceral disease (VL). In MCL and VL, treatment must be systemic (either oral or intravenous), while CL treatment options vary and include observation-only localized/topical treatment, oral medications, or parenteral drugs. Leishmaniasis treatment is difficult, with several factors to be considered. First, the efficacy of treatments varies among different species of parasites prevalent in different areas on the globe, with each species having a unique clinical presentation and resistance profile. Furthermore, leishmaniasis is a neglected tropical disease (NTD), resulting in a lack of evidence-based knowledge regarding treatment. Therefore, physicians often rely on case reports or case series studies, in the absence of randomized controlled trials (RCT), to assess treatment efficacy. Second, defining cure, especially in CL and MCL, may be difficult, as death of the parasite can be achieved in most cases, while the aesthetic result (e.g., scars) is hard to predict. This is a result of the biological nature of the disease, often diagnosed late in the course of disease (with possible keloid formation, etc.). Third, physicians must consider treatment ease of use and the safety profile of possible treatments. Thus, topical or oral treatments (for CL) are desirable and promote adherence. Fourth, the cost of the treatment is an important consideration. In this review, we aim to describe the diverse treatment options for different clinical manifestations of leishmaniasis. For each currently available treatment, we will discuss the various considerations mentioned above (efficacy, ease of use, safety, and cost). Full article
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21 pages, 2370 KiB  
Review
Women of Color in the Health Professions: A Scoping Review of the Literature
by Olihe Okoro, Omolayo Umaru and Meghana Ray
Pharmacy 2024, 12(1), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy12010029 - 07 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1334
Abstract
Women of color (WoC) in the health professions encounter challenges in advancement to higher positions, disparities in wages, discrimination, lack of expectation to achieve leadership positions, and absence of extensive support networks. Articles in the literature have addressed race and/or gender in the [...] Read more.
Women of color (WoC) in the health professions encounter challenges in advancement to higher positions, disparities in wages, discrimination, lack of expectation to achieve leadership positions, and absence of extensive support networks. Articles in the literature have addressed race and/or gender in the context of professional development. However, applying an intersectional lens or framework to better understand the contextual issues of professional development for WoC remains to be addressed. Thus, this scoping review aimed to (i) identify health professions literature that addresses disparities affecting WoC, and (ii) describe strategies and approaches to support WoC in the health professions. Methods: The literature searches were conducted in multiple databases, including PubMed and MEDLINE (Ovid); and Google and Google Scholar were used to “hand search” further articles including gray literature. Three independent reviewers reviewed and screened articles for inclusion in accordance with a guide. Search included articles on pharmacy or healthcare professions, published in English, and which met three content criteria: racial disparities/inequities, professional development/career advancement, and women or gender disparities Results: A total of 31 articles were included—medicine (17), nursing (1), pharmacy (7), other (4), and multiple health professions (2). Key findings included underrepresentation of women and minority groups, inequities in professional advancement and leadership positions for WoC, and greater dissatisfaction and attrition among minority and women professionals. Conclusion: WoC face unique and distinct challenges and barriers in their professional careers resulting from the intersectionality of not only race and gender, but also lived experiences and opportunities. Strategies to improve diversity and representation should include an intersectional framework or lens and be critically evaluated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women’s Special Issue Series: Pharmacy)
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13 pages, 1440 KiB  
Article
Reducing Pharmaceuticals in Water, a New Module Integrated in the Pharmacy Game: Evaluating the Module’s Effects on Students’ Knowledge and Attitudes
by Tanja Fens, Caroline T. A. Moermond, Peter van der Maas, Claudia Dantuma-Wering, Geke H. Lestestuiver, Agata Szperl, Lisette C. M. Schuiling, Eelko Hak and Katja Taxis
Pharmacy 2024, 12(1), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy12010028 - 06 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1415
Abstract
Pharmaceutical residues end up in surface waters, impacting drinking water sources and contaminating the aquatic ecosystem. Pharmacists can play a role in reducing pharmaceutical residues, yet this is often not addressed in pharmacy undergraduate education. Therefore, we developed the educational module “Reducing Pharmaceuticals [...] Read more.
Pharmaceutical residues end up in surface waters, impacting drinking water sources and contaminating the aquatic ecosystem. Pharmacists can play a role in reducing pharmaceutical residues, yet this is often not addressed in pharmacy undergraduate education. Therefore, we developed the educational module “Reducing Pharmaceuticals in Water” for pharmacy students; this was integrated in our pharmacy simulation game for third year Master of Pharmacy students at the University of Groningen. In this study, we aim to evaluate the effects of the module on students’ knowledge of pharmaceutical residues in water, to describe students’ experiences in taking the module, and to explore their attitudes towards green pharmacy education in general. This mixed-methods study included quantitative measurements, before and after students took the module (intervention group) and in a control group which did not receive the module. Data were collected between February 2023 and June 2023. Overall, 29 students took the module and 36 students were in the control group. The knowledge score of students in the intervention group (N = 29) increased significantly from 9.3 to 12.9 out of 22 (p < 0.001). The knowledge score of the students in the control group was (8.9 out of 22). Students found the e-learning and the patient cases the most exciting part of this module. Students also recognized the need to including environmental issues in pharmacy education. In conclusion, the module contributes towards improved knowledge and increased awareness of the impact of pharmaceuticals found in water. It represents a promising strategy to strengthen pharmacist’s role in mitigating the amount and the effect of pharmaceuticals on water and the environment in the future. Full article
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11 pages, 761 KiB  
Article
Pharmacy Students’ Perspectives on Human Resource Management: An Examination of Knowledge and Attitudes
by Georges Adunlin, Amy E. Broeseker, Jonathan L. Thigpen, Elizabeth A. Sheaffer and Marc Calhoun
Pharmacy 2024, 12(1), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy12010027 - 02 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1275
Abstract
(1) Background: This study aims to examine pharmacy students’ perceptions of their knowledge and competencies in human resource management (HRM) while also investigating their attitudes toward the educational content provided in a didactic HRM course. (2) Methods: A survey evaluating both course knowledge [...] Read more.
(1) Background: This study aims to examine pharmacy students’ perceptions of their knowledge and competencies in human resource management (HRM) while also investigating their attitudes toward the educational content provided in a didactic HRM course. (2) Methods: A survey evaluating both course knowledge (pre and post) and attitudes was administered to students enrolled in an HRM class. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and measures of associations. (3) Results: All 98 course enrollees completed the survey (N = 98), revealing statistically significant knowledge growth across HRM topics from pre- to post-survey (p < 0.05). Notably, emotional intelligence, workforce diversity, conflict resolution, and recruitment strategies exhibited the most substantial increases. The expert panel session proved highly effective, with 71% reporting it as the most knowledge-enhancing activity. “Global and cultural effectiveness” emerged as the most valued competency, reflecting a positive overall attitude towards HRM. (4) Conclusions: HRM competency is one of the most fundamental skills for pharmacists, as many problems faced by pharmacy organizations and their solutions stem from the workforce. Pharmacy schools should therefore assess their curriculum to ensure that HRM is adequately addressed to meet accreditation standards and to prepare students to navigate HRM challenges in their workplaces post-graduation. Full article
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10 pages, 642 KiB  
Project Report
Pharmacist-Driven Alcohol Use Disorder Screening May Increase Inpatient Utilization of Extended-Release Naltrexone: A Single Center Pilot Study
by Sabrina Snyder, Niyati Butala, Andrew M. Williams and Jamie Kneebusch
Pharmacy 2024, 12(1), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy12010026 - 01 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1225
Abstract
Individuals with mental illness have a high incidence of comorbid substance use, with one of the most prevalent being alcohol use disorder (AUD). Naltrexone, FDA-approved for AUD, decreases reward associated with alcohol-related social cues. This study aimed to determine if a pharmacist-driven screening [...] Read more.
Individuals with mental illness have a high incidence of comorbid substance use, with one of the most prevalent being alcohol use disorder (AUD). Naltrexone, FDA-approved for AUD, decreases reward associated with alcohol-related social cues. This study aimed to determine if a pharmacist-driven screening tool would increase the use of extended-release naltrexone (XR-NTX) in patients with AUD and a comorbid psychiatric condition. Pharmacists screened and recommended XR-NTX for adults admitted to the inpatient psychiatric unit, who had a DSM-5 diagnosis of AUD, a negative urine drug screen for opioids, and were hospitalized for at least 1 day. Endpoints evaluated included the number of XR-NTX doses administered during the screening period to the prescreening period, 30-day readmission rates, recommendation acceptance rates, and reasons for not administering XR-NTX. Pharmacists identified 66 of 641 screened patients who met the inclusion criteria and were candidates for XR-NTX. Compared to the preintervention period, more patients received XR-NTX for AUD (2 vs. 8). Readmission rates were similar between those with AUD who received XR-NTX and those who did not. Pharmacist-driven screening for AUD led to greater administration of XR-NTX when compared to the same 4-month period the year prior to initiating the study. Full article
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13 pages, 389 KiB  
Article
Leading beyond the Script: A Cross-Sectional Study Exploring Preparedness of Pharmacy Academic Administrators
by Elizabeth A. Hall, Christopher K. Finch and Katherine L. March
Pharmacy 2024, 12(1), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy12010025 - 01 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1170
Abstract
Limited research exists on the preparedness of pharmacy academic administrators for their roles. This cross-sectional survey aimed to explore the self-perceptions of pharmacy academic administrators, including deans, associate deans, assistant deans, department chairs, and directors, within United States-based Colleges or Schools of Pharmacy. [...] Read more.
Limited research exists on the preparedness of pharmacy academic administrators for their roles. This cross-sectional survey aimed to explore the self-perceptions of pharmacy academic administrators, including deans, associate deans, assistant deans, department chairs, and directors, within United States-based Colleges or Schools of Pharmacy. Participants answered questions regarding their demographics, self-perceived readiness for administrative roles, self-perceived leadership skills, and strategies used to develop these skills. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, and subgroup comparisons were made using Student’s t-test for normally distributed continuous variables, Mann–Whitney tests for ordinal variables or non-normally distributed continuous variables, and Chi-squared tests for nominal variables. A total of 193 responses were analyzed. Respondents reported feeling least prepared in two areas: entrepreneurial revenue and handling grievances and appeals. There were gender differences noted in preparedness to conduct performance reviews, manage unit finances, and develop entrepreneurial revenue, with men rating themselves significantly higher than women in all three areas. Despite high self-ratings of leadership skills in the overall cohort, significant gender differences were noted in micromanagement with men rating themselves lower than women. Seeking advice from senior colleagues was the most used development strategy, and women showed a significantly higher preference for programs facilitated by professional organizations. This study contributes valuable insights into the preparedness of pharmacy academic administrators to inform future strategies that better support individuals to be successful in their roles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pharmacy Education and Student/Practitioner Training)
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17 pages, 514 KiB  
Article
Assessment of Physicians’ Practice in Implementing Antibiotic Stewardship Program in Najran City, Saudi Arabia: A Cross-Sectional Study
by Nasser Saeed Alqahtani, Maha Mohammed Bilal, Albatoul M. Al Margan, Fatimah Ahmad Albaghrah, Anwar Mana Al Sharyan and Aljawharh Salem M. Alyami
Pharmacy 2024, 12(1), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy12010024 - 01 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1203
Abstract
Introduction: One of the main causes of illness, mortality, and rising medical costs is antimicrobial resistance, which is a global healthcare concern. Objectives: This study explores the practice of physicians toward the effective implementation of Antibiotic Stewardship Programs (ASPs) in Najran city, Saudi [...] Read more.
Introduction: One of the main causes of illness, mortality, and rising medical costs is antimicrobial resistance, which is a global healthcare concern. Objectives: This study explores the practice of physicians toward the effective implementation of Antibiotic Stewardship Programs (ASPs) in Najran city, Saudi Arabia. Methodology: This cross-sectional study was conducted among physicians working at primary care setting in Najran city, Saudi Arabia, between May and August 2023. A self-administered questionnaire was distributed among the physicians composed of three parts: socio-demographic data, a questionnaire about physicians’ practice in the efficacy of ASP, and a questionnaire about physicians’ practice regarding prescribing antibiotics. Results: Of the 128 physicians who participated in the study, 60.2% were males, and 43.8% were aged between 36 and 45 years. Among the practices in implementing the ASP effectively, controlling the source of infection domain received the highest score (mean score: 4.83). Every practice domain mean score was greater than 3, indicating that study participants possessed a moderate level of ASP practice and implementation skills. The overall mean practice score in the effective implementation of ASP was 154.9 ± 25.5 out of 185 points, with good, moderate, and poor practices constituting 67.2%, 28.1%, and 4.7%, respectively. Conclusions: The physicians showed a moderate level of practice for the effective implementation of ASPs in Najran city. The factors significantly associated with increased practice score include older age, male gender, Saudi nationality, handling five or fewer infection cases daily, and infection-initiated antibiotic prescribing treatment managed per day. These findings suggest the need for targeted interventions and educational programs to enhance physicians’ adherence to ASP guidelines and promote appropriate antibiotic prescribing practices, ultimately contributing to global efforts in combating antimicrobial resistance and improving patient outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pharmacist-Led Antimicrobial Stewardship 2.0)
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11 pages, 204 KiB  
Article
Integrating Patient Safety Discussions with First-Year Doctor of Pharmacy Students in a Skills Lab Course
by Kevin T. Fuji and Kimberly A. Galt
Pharmacy 2024, 12(1), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy12010023 - 01 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1114
Abstract
The patient safety problem has been well established for over 20 years in the United States (U.S.), and there is a recognized focus on ensuring that health professions’ trainees receive explicit education in various patient safety principles and practices. While the literature provides [...] Read more.
The patient safety problem has been well established for over 20 years in the United States (U.S.), and there is a recognized focus on ensuring that health professions’ trainees receive explicit education in various patient safety principles and practices. While the literature provides examples of different approaches towards patient safety education for pharmacy students, there are few that focus on first-year pharmacy students. This educational observational study describes the implementation and evaluation of two 20 min patient safety learning activities integrated into a required pharmacy skills lab course. The first learning activity utilized a mock prescription and patient safety checklist that had students identify patient safety problems on the prescription, followed by a group discussion of implications for the patient. The second learning activity used images of common safety problems with a facilitated group discussion to have students identify systems-based solutions to those problems. Our study’s findings revealed that students were able to identify basic patient safety problems and safety solutions, although some additional foundational information may be needed, particularly for students who may not have pharmacy work experience. Additional research is needed to continue building a literature base on patient safety education approaches, particularly for first-year pharmacy students. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medication Safety and Pharmacy Practice)
13 pages, 986 KiB  
Article
Evaluating the Effectiveness of Videos for Teaching Pharmaceutical Calculations to Pharmacy Students
by Heba Ghazal, Marrium Haq, Philip Crilly, Nicola Harrap and Reem Kayyali
Pharmacy 2024, 12(1), 22; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy12010022 - 25 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1301
Abstract
Performing pharmaceutical calculations accurately is a fundamental aspect of the pharmacy profession, ensuring treatment efficacy and patient safety. Incorporating videos in teaching can enhance visualisation and reinforce learning. The current study utilised videos to teach calculations and assessed how these affected students’ performance. [...] Read more.
Performing pharmaceutical calculations accurately is a fundamental aspect of the pharmacy profession, ensuring treatment efficacy and patient safety. Incorporating videos in teaching can enhance visualisation and reinforce learning. The current study utilised videos to teach calculations and assessed how these affected students’ performance. Initially, pharmacy students were surveyed at one UK University to identify calculation topics they found most challenging, and then two prototype videos were created based on these topics. Feedback was gathered through a follow-up survey on these prototypes, leading to the development of five additional videos. To evaluate the impact of these videos, students were given quizzes before and after watching them. The data were analysed in Microsoft Excel and included paired t-tests to compare mean scores, with significance set at p < 0.05. The survey was completed by 98/130 (75% response rate), with 58% expressing average or low confidence in calculations. A majority (78%) believed that videos would aid their comprehension of calculation concepts. In the subsequent phase, most respondents (92%, 80/87) agreed that the prototype videos improved their understanding of the two topics, but this increase was not statistically significant. However, quiz performance evaluation revealed a significant increase in average scores. This study affirms that videos can boost students’ performance in calculations by allowing them to visualise the relevant practical scenarios. Full article
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12 pages, 1439 KiB  
Article
Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Use of Antidepressants by Young Adults in the ASL TO4 Regione Piemonte (Italy)
by Lucrezia Greta Armando, Raffaella Baroetto Parisi, Cristina Rolando, Mariangela Esiliato, Valeria Vinciguerra, Cecilia Bertiond, Abdoulaye Diarassouba, Clara Cena and Gianluca Miglio
Pharmacy 2024, 12(1), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy12010021 - 23 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1329
Abstract
The association between younger age and poorer mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic has been documented. Whether these changes were associated with a change in antidepressant (AD) use is not well understood. This study aimed to estimate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic [...] Read more.
The association between younger age and poorer mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic has been documented. Whether these changes were associated with a change in antidepressant (AD) use is not well understood. This study aimed to estimate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on AD use by young adults in the ASL TO4 Regione Piemonte (Italy). The impact of the pandemic on the weekly prevalence of AD users was assessed using interrupted time-series analysis with autoregressive integrated moving average models. A total of 1071 subjects (18–22 years with ≥1 AD dispensation) were included in the study. The observed prevalence was lower than the predicted value for several weeks after the introduction of the lockdown. However, it was consistently higher than the predicted values from week 134. The maximum difference between observed and predicted values (25 subjects per 10,000 young adults) was found at week 170. Changes in AD use were observed in both genders and were more pronounced for selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. In conclusion, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health of young adults is likely to be significant in the coming years, which may place a future burden on pharmaceutical public health and community health. Full article
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14 pages, 523 KiB  
Review
Digital Solutions Available to Be Used by Informal Caregivers, Contributing to Medication Adherence: A Scoping Review
by Margarida Espírito-Santo, Sancha Santos and Maria Dulce Estêvão
Pharmacy 2024, 12(1), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy12010020 - 23 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1353
Abstract
Medication adherence is essential for managing chronic diseases and achieving optimal health outcomes. However, this process is often challenging, particularly for patients with complex care needs. Informal caregivers play a pivotal role in supporting medication management, but they may face resource limitations and [...] Read more.
Medication adherence is essential for managing chronic diseases and achieving optimal health outcomes. However, this process is often challenging, particularly for patients with complex care needs. Informal caregivers play a pivotal role in supporting medication management, but they may face resource limitations and a lack of necessary support. Digital health tools offer a promising avenue to enhance medication adherence by providing reminders, education, and remote monitoring capabilities. This scoping review aimed to identify and evaluate digital solutions available to informal caregivers for improving medication adherence. A systematic search of PubMed and Web of Science was conducted using relevant keywords. Four studies were included in the review, examining a variety of digital tools including mobile apps, SMS messaging, and wearable devices. These tools demonstrated efficacy in improving medication adherence, managing disease symptoms, and enhancing quality of life for patients and caregivers. Digital health interventions hold the potential to revolutionize medication adherence among chronic disease patients. By empowering informal caregivers, these tools can bridge the gaps in medication management and contribute to better health outcomes. Further research is warranted to optimize the design, implementation, and evaluation of digital interventions for medication adherence. Full article
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13 pages, 1255 KiB  
Review
Managing Dry Eye Disease with Novel Medications: Mechanism, Study Validity, Safety, Efficacy, and Practical Application
by Jason C. Wong and Aselle Barak
Pharmacy 2024, 12(1), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy12010019 - 23 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1604
Abstract
Dry eye disease (DED) is a common condition that affects mainly older individuals and women. It is characterized by reduced tear production and increased tear evaporation. Symptoms include burning, irritation, tearing, and blurry vision. This paper reviews key trials of various new DED [...] Read more.
Dry eye disease (DED) is a common condition that affects mainly older individuals and women. It is characterized by reduced tear production and increased tear evaporation. Symptoms include burning, irritation, tearing, and blurry vision. This paper reviews key trials of various new DED treatments, including their mechanism of action, study outcomes, safety, and efficacy. The paper also includes a critical assessment of the trial’s validity and potential pharmacy applications of these new treatments. The literature search was conducted through PubMed, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, and Google Scholar. The keywords “Dry Eye Disease”, “lifitegrast”, “cyclosporine”, “loteprednol etabonate”, “varenicline nasal spray”, and “perfluorohexyloctane” were used to identify these medications’ landmark trials. The articles deemed these medications safe and efficacious, with minimal side effects. Our randomized controlled trial validity comparison found the trials robust with predominantly low bias. Cyclosporine and loteprednol are effective when artificial tears fail, while perfluorohexyloctane reduces tear film evaporation and is preservative-free. Varenicline offers drug delivery via the nasal route and is appropriate for contact lens users. In conclusion, these FDA-approved novel medications exhibit safety and efficacy in managing DED. Further research is needed on long-term outcomes, efficacy, and side-effect comparisons, and combination therapy benefits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pharmacy Practice and Practice-Based Research)
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18 pages, 806 KiB  
Article
Estimating Type 2 Diabetes Prevalence: A Model of Drug Consumption Data
by Rita Oliveira, Matilde Monteiro-Soares, José Pedro Guerreiro, Rúben Pereira and António Teixeira-Rodrigues
Pharmacy 2024, 12(1), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy12010018 - 22 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1362
Abstract
Observational, cross-sectional prevalence studies are costly and time-consuming. The development of indirect methods estimating prevalence used to obtain faster, less-expensive, and more robust results would be an advantage for several healthcare applications. This study aimed to use the drug dispensing data from community [...] Read more.
Observational, cross-sectional prevalence studies are costly and time-consuming. The development of indirect methods estimating prevalence used to obtain faster, less-expensive, and more robust results would be an advantage for several healthcare applications. This study aimed to use the drug dispensing data from community pharmacies to estimate the prevalence of Type 2 Diabetes mellitus (T2DM) in the Portuguese population. A cross-sectional study was conducted using a database of dispensed medicines with an indication for Diabetes mellitus in 2018 and 2021, stratified by geographic region. The methodology was based on a sequential method of acquiring prevalence estimates obtained through exposure to medicines using the daily doses defined per thousand inhabitants per day and adjusted to the rate of adherence to therapy, prescription patterns, and concomitance of antidiabetic drugs. The estimated overall T2DM prevalence in 2018 was 13.9%, and it was 14.2% for 2021. The results show the increased consumption of antidiabetic drugs, with fixed-dose combination antidiabetics and new antidiabetics being particularly important in 2021. This work allowed for the development of a model to obtain the estimated prevalence of T2DM based on drug consumption, using a simple, fast, and robust method that is in line with the available evidence. However, with the recent expanding indications for new antidiabetics, the inclusion of further data in the model needs to be studied. Full article
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12 pages, 265 KiB  
Review
Off-Label Immunosuppressant Drugs in Solid Organ Transplantation
by Rita Nogueiras-Álvarez and María del Mar García-Sáiz
Pharmacy 2024, 12(1), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy12010017 - 22 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1301
Abstract
Once a solid organ transplantation (SOT) has been performed, it is necessary to prescribe immunosuppressant medication to prevent graft rejection. This task has the peculiarity that many of these drugs do not have specific indications for transplant use in the technical data sheets. [...] Read more.
Once a solid organ transplantation (SOT) has been performed, it is necessary to prescribe immunosuppressant medication to prevent graft rejection. This task has the peculiarity that many of these drugs do not have specific indications for transplant use in the technical data sheets. We performed a review of different immunosuppressive drugs’ information available at European and American regulatory agencies in order to analyze the approved indications by the type of SOT. In our work, besides showing these differences between different indication approvals in different SOT modalities, we also attempted to reflect other differences under the approved indications according to age group, formulation type, geographical area, etc. Although consensus documents on the subject have been published, the access to immunosuppressants depends on each country’s regulation and healthcare system, and off-label prescription is a reality that healthcare professionals need to be familiar with. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pharmacy Practice and Practice-Based Research)
24 pages, 1042 KiB  
Article
The Community Pharmacy as a Study Center for the Epidemiological Analysis of the Population Vaccination against SARS-CoV-2: Evaluation of Vaccine Safety and Pharmaceutical Service
by Jacopo Raffaele Dibenedetto, Michela Cetrone, Marina Antonacci, Domenico Pio Cannone, Stefania Antonacci, Pasquale Bratta, Francesco Leonetti and Domenico Tricarico
Pharmacy 2024, 12(1), 16; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy12010016 - 20 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1345
Abstract
We conducted a monocentric observational study aimed at evaluating the vaccine safety and the pharmaceutical service provided at a community pharmacy (C.PHARM) in the Puglia Region in the period from 29 December 2021 to 12 March 2022 using data from 550 patients of [...] Read more.
We conducted a monocentric observational study aimed at evaluating the vaccine safety and the pharmaceutical service provided at a community pharmacy (C.PHARM) in the Puglia Region in the period from 29 December 2021 to 12 March 2022 using data from 550 patients of various ages and sexes and with concomitant diseases. We collected anamnestic data, the number of hospitalizations, and any post-vaccination adverse reactions. Interviews using the integrated EQ5 method were also performed to evaluate the quality of the service offered and any therapy preference. As expected, the vaccines were reactogenic after the first dose in the patients with mild–moderate reactions, with younger age and female gender as risk factors. Immune-allergic reactions of a moderate–severe degree were observed in adult females. In the elderly, the vaccination was well tolerated. Comirnaty® showed a favorable O.R. < 1 vs. other vaccines. No cardiovascular events or hospitalizations were observed up to May 2023. Regional data indicate that all treatments during May 2023 were correlated with the viremia. PaxlovidTM was prescribed in 3% of the patients in our center and in 1.46% in the region, and distributed/dispensed on behalf of third parties in accordance with a novel distribution/dispensation protocol of the C.PHARM that resulted in a safe vaccination center providing appropriate patient inclusion during vaccination. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pharmacy Practice and Practice-Based Research)
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14 pages, 1235 KiB  
Article
Vancomycin AUC-Based Dosing Practices in a Non-Teaching Community Hospital and Associated Outcomes: A One-Year Survey of Uniform Targets for Infections with or without MRSA
by Iftekharul Islam
Pharmacy 2024, 12(1), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy12010015 - 17 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1624
Abstract
Background: Intravenous (IV) vancomycin area under the curve (AUC)-based dosing is used uniformly for Gram-positive organisms in non-teaching community hospitals. However, evidence for using vancomycin AUC-based dosing for non-methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (non-MRSA) and less serious infections is limited in the literature. [...] Read more.
Background: Intravenous (IV) vancomycin area under the curve (AUC)-based dosing is used uniformly for Gram-positive organisms in non-teaching community hospitals. However, evidence for using vancomycin AUC-based dosing for non-methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (non-MRSA) and less serious infections is limited in the literature. A gap in the literature also exists with respect to comparisons between the outcomes that can be derived using the regimens suggested by Bayesian programs and target doses of the AUC of 400–499 and 500–600. Methods: A retrospective review of all patients hospitalized in a non-teaching community hospital who used AUC-based vancomycin was performed over a 1-year period. Results: Only 17.6% of the included patients had confirmed MRSA. The values for the overall early response rate, 30-day all-cause mortality, and rate of acute kidney injury (AKI) were 50.3%, 11.3%, and 3.8%, respectively, in this population. In regression analysis, compared to non-MRSA infections, a significantly higher rate of early response was seen in patients with MRSA (unadjusted OR = 2.68, 95% CI [1.06–6.76] p = 0.04). Patients in the AUC 400–499 group had a non-significant higher incidence of 30 d mortality and new AKI compared to patients in the AUC 500–600 group. In our Kaplan–Meier survival analysis, there was no statistically significant difference between the comparison groups. Conclusions: Early response was lower in patients with non-MRSA compared to patients with MRSA despite achieving the AUC target. There was no apparent difference in clinical outcomes between the higher and lower AUC groups. Further large-scale research is needed to confirm these findings. Full article
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12 pages, 4338 KiB  
Article
Declining but Pronounced State-Level Disparities in Prescription Opioid Distribution in the United States
by Joshua D. Madera, Amanda E. Ruffino, Adriana Feliz, Kenneth L. McCall, Corey S. Davis and Brian J. Piper
Pharmacy 2024, 12(1), 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy12010014 - 16 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1909
Abstract
The United States (US) opioid epidemic is a persistent and pervasive public health emergency that claims the lives of over 80,000 Americans per year as of 2021. There have been sustained efforts to reverse this crisis over the past decade, including a number [...] Read more.
The United States (US) opioid epidemic is a persistent and pervasive public health emergency that claims the lives of over 80,000 Americans per year as of 2021. There have been sustained efforts to reverse this crisis over the past decade, including a number of measures designed to decrease the use of prescription opioids for the treatment of pain. This study analyzed the changes in federal production quotas for prescription opioids and the distribution of prescription opioids for pain and identified state-level differences between 2010 and 2019. Data (in grams) on opioid production quotas and distribution (from manufacturer to hospitals, retail pharmacies, practitioners, and teaching institutions) of 10 prescription opioids (codeine, fentanyl, hydrocodone, hydromorphone, meperidine, methadone, morphine, oxycodone, oxymorphone, and tapentadol) for 2010 to 2019 were obtained from the US Drug Enforcement Administration. Amounts of each opioid were converted from grams to morphine milligram equivalent (MME), and the per capita distribution by state was calculated using population estimates. Total opioid production quotas increased substantially from 2010 to 2013 before decreasing by 41.5% from 2013 (87.6 MME metric tons) to 2019 (51.3). The peak year for distribution of all 10 prescription opioids was between 2010 and 2013, except for codeine (2015). The largest quantities of opioid distribution were observed in Tennessee (520.70 MME per person) and Delaware (251.45) in 2011 and 2019. There was a 52.0% overall decrease in opioid distribution per capita from 2010 to 2019, with the largest decrease in Florida (−61.6%) and the smallest in Texas (−18.6%). Southern states had the highest per capita distribution for eight of the ten opioids in 2019. The highest to lowest state ratio of total opioid distribution, corrected for population, decreased from 5.25 in 2011 to 2.78 in 2019. The mean 95th/5th ratio was relatively consistent in 2011 (4.78 ± 0.70) relative to 2019 (5.64 ± 0.98). This study found a sustained decline in the distribution of ten prescription opioids during the last five years. Distribution was non-homogeneous at the state level. Analysis of state-level differences revealed a fivefold difference in the 95th:5th percentile ratio between states, which has remained unchanged over the past decade. Production quotas did not correspond with the distribution, particularly in the 2010–2016 period. Future research, focused on identifying factors contributing to the observed regional variability in opioid distribution, could prove valuable to understanding and potentially remediating the pronounced disparities in prescription opioid-related harms in the US. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pharmacy Practice and Practice-Based Research)
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25 pages, 3581 KiB  
Article
Benzodiazepine Boom: Tracking Etizolam, Pyrazolam, and Flubromazepam from Pre-UK Psychoactive Act 2016 to Present Using Analytical and Social Listening Techniques
by Anthony Mullin, Mark Scott, Giorgia Vaccaro, Giuseppe Floresta, Davide Arillotta, Valeria Catalani, John M. Corkery, Jacqueline L. Stair, Fabrizio Schifano and Amira Guirguis
Pharmacy 2024, 12(1), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy12010013 - 12 Jan 2024
Viewed by 2290
Abstract
Introduction: The designer benzodiazepine (DBZD) market continues to expand whilst evading regulatory controls. The widespread adoption of social media by pro-drug use communities encourages positive discussions around DBZD use/misuse, driving demand. This research addresses the evolution of three popular DBZDs, etizolam (E), flubromazepam [...] Read more.
Introduction: The designer benzodiazepine (DBZD) market continues to expand whilst evading regulatory controls. The widespread adoption of social media by pro-drug use communities encourages positive discussions around DBZD use/misuse, driving demand. This research addresses the evolution of three popular DBZDs, etizolam (E), flubromazepam (F), and pyrazolam (P), available on the drug market for over a decade, comparing the quantitative chemical analyses of tablet samples, purchased from the internet prior to the implementation of the Psychoactive Substances Act UK 2016, with the thematic netnographic analyses of social media content. Method: Drug samples were purchased from the internet in early 2016. The characterisation of all drug batches were performed using UHPLC-MS and supported with 1H NMR. In addition, netnographic studies across the platforms X (formerly Twitter) and Reddit, between 2016–2023, were conducted. The latter was supported by both manual and artificial intelligence (AI)-driven thematic analyses, using numerous.ai and ChatGPT, of social media threads and discussions. Results: UHPLC-MS confirmed the expected drug in every sample, showing remarkable inter/intra batch variability across all batches (E = 13.8 ± 0.6 to 24.7 ± 0.9 mg; F = 4.0 ± 0.2 to 23.5 ± 0.8 mg; P = 5.2 ± 0.2 to 11.5 ± 0.4 mg). 1H NMR could not confirm etizolam as a lone compound in any etizolam batch. Thematic analyses showed etizolam dominated social media discussions (59% of all posts), with 24.2% of posts involving sale/purchase and 17.8% detailing new administration trends/poly-drug use scenarios. Artificial intelligence confirmed three of the top five trends identified manually. Conclusions: Purity variability identified across all tested samples emphasises the increased potential health risks associated with DBZD consumption. We propose the global DBZD market is exacerbated by surface web social media discussions, recorded across X and Reddit. Despite the appearance of newer analogues, these three DBZDs remain prevalent and popularised. Reporting themes on harm/effects and new developments in poly-drug use trends, demand for DBZDs continues to grow, despite their potent nature and potential risk to life. It is proposed that greater controls and constant live monitoring of social media user content is warranted to drive active regulation strategies and targeted, effective, harm reduction strategies. Full article
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12 pages, 2835 KiB  
Article
Vaccination Training for Pharmacy Undergraduates as a Compulsory Part of the Curriculum?—A Multicentric Observation
by Shahzad Ahmad Sayyed, Florian Andreas Kinny, Ahmed Reda Sharkas, Holger Schwender, Ronja Woltersdorf, Christoph Ritter and Stephanie Laeer
Pharmacy 2024, 12(1), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy12010012 - 11 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1546
Abstract
In order to increase vaccination rates, the Government of Germany introduced vaccination against influenza and COVID-19 into the regular care administered by pharmacists. However, vaccination training is yet not integrated into the German pharmacy curriculum. Therefore, the Institute for Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmacotherapy [...] Read more.
In order to increase vaccination rates, the Government of Germany introduced vaccination against influenza and COVID-19 into the regular care administered by pharmacists. However, vaccination training is yet not integrated into the German pharmacy curriculum. Therefore, the Institute for Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmacotherapy in Duesseldorf had developed an innovative vaccination course using high-fidelity simulation for students. To investigate the acceptance further, the course was carried out at three different German universities (Bonn, Duesseldorf, Greifswald). Students were asked to give their self-assessment before and after and satisfaction only after the training course. Responses from 33 participants from the University of Bonn, 42 from the University of Duesseldorf and 49 from the University of Greifswald were analyzed. Every participant at the respective universities showed a significant increase in their self-assessment and indicated a high level of satisfaction with the course. The results also did not differ significantly between the respective universities. Consequently, the results lead to the hypothesis that the satisfaction of pharmacy students with this kind of training using high-fidelity simulation is very high and attractive, and can be recommended for other German universities. The integration of such vaccination training into the German pharmacy curriculum might be a future step. Full article
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13 pages, 434 KiB  
Article
Charting the Knowledge and Patterns of Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs Usage in Hail Population, Saudi Arabia: Insights into the Adverse Effect Profile
by Abdullah T. Altahini, Waled Aburas, Saud F. Aljarwan, Suliman A. Alsuwayagh, Naif F. Alqahtani, Saleh Alquwaiay and Sirajudheen Anwar
Pharmacy 2024, 12(1), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy12010009 - 08 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1735
Abstract
(1) Background: It is crucial to provide safe and knowledgeable healthcare practices because no research has been performed on the knowledge and usage patterns of NSAIDs among the Hail population. (2) Method: Structured questionnaires were utilized to gather data from 399 individuals in [...] Read more.
(1) Background: It is crucial to provide safe and knowledgeable healthcare practices because no research has been performed on the knowledge and usage patterns of NSAIDs among the Hail population. (2) Method: Structured questionnaires were utilized to gather data from 399 individuals in Hail, Saudi Arabia, for the cross-sectional analysis. The study assessed participants’ knowledge regarding NSAIDs, patterns of use, reasons for use, and awareness of potential side effects. (3) Results: In the study, the gender distribution indicated that 170 participants (42.61%) were male, whereas 229 (57.39%) were female. Gender, occupation, and marital status showed non-significant associations except for menstrual cycle and joint pain, where marital status displayed significant associations (p > 0.001). Education and monthly income exhibited non-significant associations for all these reasons. The regression analysis demonstrated that gender played a significant role, with females having higher odds of knowledge (AOR = 1.75, 95% CI 1.10–2.88) than males. Meanwhile, >50% of the participants had knowledge of adverse events related to the use of NSAIDs, whereas 25% had no knowledge. Moreover, 59 (25.76%) participants reported discomfort with the use of NSAIDs. In addition, 50% and >75% of respondents believed that NSAIDs could induce peptic ulcers and kidney damage, respectively. (4) Conclusions: This study shed light on the knowledge and patterns of NSAIDs use in the population of Hail, Saudi Arabia. Healthcare providers and policymakers should consider these insights to develop targeted educational initiatives and healthcare interventions to promote safe and informed NSAID utilization in the region. Full article
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11 pages, 502 KiB  
Review
The Impact of Glucagon-like Peptide 1 Receptor Agonists on Obstructive Sleep Apnoea: A Scoping Review
by Khang Duy Ricky Le, Kelvin Le and Felicia Foo
Pharmacy 2024, 12(1), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy12010011 - 08 Jan 2024
Viewed by 2837
Abstract
Background: Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) and associated hypopnoea syndromes are chronic conditions of sleep-disordered breathing with significant sequelae if poorly managed, including hypertension, cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome and increased mortality. Glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor agonists (GLP-1RA) have recently garnered significant interest as a [...] Read more.
Background: Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) and associated hypopnoea syndromes are chronic conditions of sleep-disordered breathing with significant sequelae if poorly managed, including hypertension, cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome and increased mortality. Glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor agonists (GLP-1RA) have recently garnered significant interest as a potential therapeutic, attributed to their durable effects in weight loss and glycaemic control in metabolic syndromes, such as obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus. This has led to significant investment into companies that produce these medications and divestment from traditional gold standard methods of OSA management such as continuous positive airway pressure machines. Despite these sentiments, the impacts of these medications on OSA outcomes are poorly characterised, with no high-quality evidence at this stage to support this hypothesis. This scoping review therefore aims to address the research question of whether GLP-1RAs lead to a direct improvement in OSA and associated hypopnoea syndromes. Methods: A scoping review was performed following a computer-assisted search of Medline, Embase and Cochrane Central databases. Papers that evaluated the use of GLP-1RA medications related to sleep-disordered breathing, OSA or other sleep-related apnoeic or hypopnoeic syndromes were included. Results: Literature search and evaluation identified 9 articles that were eligible for inclusion. Of these, 1 was a study protocol, 1 was a case report, 1 was an abstract of a randomised controlled trial (RCT), 1 was a non-randomised clinical trial and the remaining 5 were randomised clinical trials of variable rigour. All studies evaluated the outcomes of GLP-1RAs in patients with diagnosed OSA or symptoms suggestive of this condition. Conclusion: This scoping review identified early evidence to suggest that GLP-1RAs may improve OSA as defined by reduction in apnoea-hypopnoea index (AHI). This evidence is however conflicting due to contradicting results demonstrated from other studies. Overall, these medications were tolerated well, with minor gastrointestinal side-effects reported in some cases. Of all included studies, the quality of evidence was low, with short lengths of follow-up to identify durable effects of these medications on OSA outcomes and identify adverse events. More rigorous, RCTs with sufficient length of follow-up are required before consideration of formalising these medications into OSA treatment guidelines, frameworks and policies are warranted. Full article
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