Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Pharmacy Practice (Granada)]]> vol. 18 num. 4 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[Evaluation of simulated drug dispensing and patient counseling in the course of pharmaceutical improvement: 2009 to 2015]]> Background: Aiming to facilitate the drug dispensing process and patient counseling, specific professional skills are required. The knowledge, skills and attitudes involved in this process can be improved. From 2012 to 2015, a nationwide course was held, in partnership with the Ministry of Health and the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS) - Brazil, to train pharmacists working in primary health care through the development of their clinical and communication skills. One of the steps in this process involved the simulation of the drug dispensing process and patient counseling. Objective: To evaluate the performance of pharmacists in drug dispensing and counseling through patient simulation role-playing held in a face-to-face meeting at the end of a training course. Methods: A cross-sectional and retrospective study with analysis of patient simulation recordings and data collection using an assessment instrument with scores ranging from 0 to 10 points to assess pharmacist's behavior, skills, and technical knowledge. Results: Participants presented poor-to-regular performance, with median scores equal to or lower than six. The median time of the drug dispensing simulation was five minutes and the patient counseling was eight minutes. Pharmacists had better scores in the simulation of asthma cases. In drug dispensing, 99.5% of pharmacists had difficulty checking the patient's time availability, 98.5% did not know how to use the devices, and 94.7% did not advise the patient on what to do if they forgot to take a dose. In patient counseling simulation, 1.18% of pharmacists remembered to advise on what do with medication leftovers, and 50.6% asked questions that induced the patient's responses. Conclusions: The low-to-regular performance showed that pharmacists had difficulties at improving their skills in the performance of complete and effective drug dispensing and patient counseling. <![CDATA[For which patient subgroups are there positive outcomes from a medication review? A systematic review]]> Abstract Background: A medication review is a possibility to assess and optimise a patient's medicine. A model that includes a medication review and a follow-up seem to provide the best results. However, it is not known whether specific subgroups of patients benefit more from a medication review than others. Objective: This literature review summarises the evidence that is available on which patient subgroups exist positive outcomes from a medication review carried out in a primary care setting. Methods: We performed a PICO analysis to identify keywords for setting, medication review and effect. We then conducted a search using the PubMed database (2004 to 2019) to identify studies relevant for our investigation. A screening process was carried out based on either title or abstract, and any study that matched the aim and inclusion criteria was included. All matching studies were obtained and read, and were included if they met predefined criteria such as study design, medication review and primary care. The studies were divided into subgroups. First, each subgroup was divided according to the studies’ own definition. Secondly, each subgroup was allocated as either risk patients if the subgroup described a specific patient subgroup or risk medication, if the subgroup was defined as using a specific type of medication. This was done after discussion in the author group. Results: 28 studies from a total of 935 studies were included. Identified studies were divided into either risk patients; frail, recently discharged or multimorbid patients, or risk medication; heart medication, antithrombotic medication, blood pressure lowering medication, antidiabetic medication, anti-Parkinson medication or medication increasing the risk of falls. The subgroups identified from a medication review in primary care were defined as being frail, recently discharged from hospital or multimorbid (risk patients), or defined as patients using anticoagulant or blood pressure lowering medication (risk medication). Most of the medication reviews in the studies that showed an economic effect included at least one follow-up and were delivered by a pharmacist. Conclusions: The literature review demonstrates that medication reviews delivered by pharmacists to specific subgroups of patients are a way of optimising the economic effect of medication reviews in primary care. This is obtained by reducing health-related costs or the number of contacts with primary or secondary health care services. <![CDATA[Development of a stepwise tool to aide primary health care professionals in the process of deprescribing in older persons]]> Objective: The aim of this study was to develop and validate a stepwise tool to aid primary health care professionals in the process of deprescribing potentially inappropriate medication in older persons. Methods: We carried out a systematic review to identify previously published tools. A composite proposal of algorithm was made by following the steps from clinical experience to deprescribe medications. A 2-round electronic Delphi method was conducted to establish consensus. Eighteen experts from different countries (Colombia, Spain and Argentina) accepted to be part of the panel representing geriatricians, internists, endocrinologist, general practitioners, pharmacologists, clinical pharmacists, family physicians and nurses. Panel members were asked to mark a Likert Scale from 1 to 9 points (1= strongly disagree, 9= strongly agree). The content validity ratio, item-level content validity, and Fleiss’ Kappa statistics was measured to establish reliability. The same voting method was used for round 2. Results: A 7-question algorithm was proposed. Each question was part of a domain and conduct into a decision. In round 1, a consensus was not reached but statements were grouped and organized. In round 2, the tool met consensus. The inter-rater reliability was between substantial and almost perfect for questions with Kappa=0.77 (95% CI 0.60-0.93), for domains with Kappa= 0.73 (95%CI 0.60-0.86) and for decisions with Kappa= 0.97 (95%CI 0.90-1.00). Conclusions: This is a novel tool that captures and supports healthcare professionals in clinical decision-making for deprescribing potentially inappropriate medication. This includes patient's and caregiver's preferences about medication. This tool will help to standardize care and provide guidance on the prescribing/deprescribing process of older persons’ medications. Also, it provides a holistic way to reduce polypharmacy and inappropriate medications in clinical practice. <![CDATA[Training and standardization of simulated patients for multicentre studies in clinical pharmacy education]]> Abstract Objective: To evaluate the training and standardization methods of multiple simulated patients (SPs) performing a single scenario in a multicenter study. Methods: A prospective quasi-experimental study, using a multicenter approach, evaluated the performance of five different individuals with the same biotype during a simulation session in a high-fidelity environment. The SPs training and standardization process consisted of four steps and six web or face-to-face mediated: Step 1: simulation scenario design and pilot test. Step 2: SPs selection, recruitment and beginning training (Session 1: performance instructions and memorization request.) Session 2: check the SPs’ performances and adjustments). Step 3 and session 3: training role-play and performance's evaluation. Step 4: SPs’ standardization and performances’ evaluation (Sessions 4 and 5: first and second rounds of SPs’ standardization assessment. Session 6: Global training and standardization evaluation. SPs performance consistency was estimated using Cronbach's alpha and ICC. Results: In the evaluation of training results, the Maastricht Simulated Patient Assessment dimensions of SPs performances “It seems authentic”, “Can be a real patient” and “Answered questions naturally”, presented “moderate or complete agreement” of all evaluators. The dimensions “Seems to retain information unnecessarily”, “Remains in his/her role all the time”, “Challenges/tests the student”, and “Simulates physical complaints in an unrealistic way” presented “moderate or complete disagreement” in all evaluations. The SPs “Appearance fits the role” showed “moderate or complete agreement” in most evaluations. In the second round of evaluations, the SPs had better performance than the first ones. This could indicate the training process's had good influence on SPs performances. The Cronbach's alpha in the second assessment was better than the first (varied from 0.699 to 0.978). The same improvement occurred in the second round of intraclass correlation coefficient that was between 0.424 and 0.978. The SPs were satisfied with the training method and standardization process. They could perceive improvement on their role-play authenticity. Conclusions: The SPs training and standardization process revealed good SPs reliability and simulation reproducibility, demonstrating to be a feasible method for SPs standardization in multicenter studies. The Maastricht Simulated Patient Assessment was regarded as missing the assessment of the information consistency between the simulation script and the SPs provision. <![CDATA[The pharmacy workforce in public primary healthcare centers: promoting access and information on medicines]]> Abstract Background: Only few studies have analyzed the pharmaceutical workforce in primary healthcare centers, and a global recommendation calls for better understanding of the trends that shape workforce development and capacity. Objective: To analyze the distribution of the pharmaceutical workforce in primary healthcare centers in the national health system [Sistema Único de Saúde (SUS)] in Brazil. Methods: The study was conducted using data from the National Survey on Access, Use and Promotion of Rational Use of Medicines in Brazil. Secondary data referring to the socioeconomic indicators of each municipality were obtained from national public databases. Data stratification in geographic regions was considered, and data on workers in the management of the municipal pharmaceutical services and medicines dispensing centers were analyzed. Crude and adjusted prevalence ratios were calculated by Poisson regression in the study investigating the factors associated with low and high-density pharmacists per 10,000 inhabitants. Results: The results showed that most Brazilian municipalities have a rate of 1 or more pharmacist per 10,000 inhabitants in primary healthcare public facilities, with a higher concentration of pharmacists in small municipalities. Even in Brazilian municipalities with lower economic capacity, the conditions of access to medicines and pertinent information on medicines were directly related to the number of pharmacists available in these centers. Conclusions: This study showed a high number of pharmacists in the public health system. The higher density of pharmacists in primary healthcare public facilities correlated to increased access to medicines information and better municipal social development. <![CDATA[Educational intervention to improve pharmacist knowledge to provide care for transgender patients]]> Background: Most pharmacists have not received formal training or education in the provision of care for transgender patients. Nonetheless, pharmacists have the potential to be valuable partners in the care of transgender patients, and a continuing education course might be valuable in addressing this knowledge gap. Objective: The aim of this study was to examine the impact of a three-hour continuing education course in improving the knowledge of pharmacists to provide pharmaceutical care for transgender patients. Methods: A quasi-experimental, one-group pre-test/post-test study design was used to measure the impact of a three-hour continuing pharmacy education course on the knowledge of pharmacists on transgender care. The course was divided into three units: (1) Transgender Patient Care Introduction, (2) General Health Issues of Transgender Patients, and (3) Gender Affirming Hormone Therapy. A total of 68 pharmacists participated in the study, of which 54 completed both the pre- and post-test. An ANOVA was used to compare differences in knowledge in the group before and after the educational intervention. Results: The majority of the participating pharmacists were cisgender, heterosexual women who had not received any formal training related to transgender care. Participants demonstrated the largest increase in execution score in the third unit, with a percent improvement of 25.22% (pre-test 45.06%, post-test 70.28%; p&lt;0.001). The average total execution score was 52.15% in the pre-test and 72.89% (p&lt; 0.001) in the post-test. Conclusions: Pharmacists benefited from a three-hour continuing education course with an increase in knowledge regarding transgender patient care and hormone therapy for gender affirmation. As this study only evaluated the effect in short term memory, further studies are needed to assess long term impact of the continuing education course on transgender care knowledge. <![CDATA[Assessment of occupational violence towards pharmacists at practice settings in Nigeria]]> Background: Occupational Violence is prevalent among healthcare workers, including pharmacists, and poses a big threat to their job satisfaction, safety, and social wellbeing. Objective: This study seeks to assess the incidents and factors associated with occupational violence towards pharmacists in Nigeria. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among pharmacists practicing in Nigeria, using an online survey (Google Form™). Occupational violence was assessed using a validated questionnaire. The survey was conducted and reported based on the Checklist for Reporting Results of Internet E-Surveys (CHERRIES). Participants were recruited by sharing the survey link via social media platforms including WhatsApp, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Results: A total of 263 respondents returned the online questionnaire, with a completion rate of 99.2%. The prevalence of occupational violence was 92.7% (95% CI, 90 to 96). Violent events occurred among 48.7% of pharmacists with at least six years of experience, and 68.4% of hospital pharmacists. The commonly reported factors associated with the violence include long waiting times in the pharmacy (36.5%), refusal to fulfil aggressor's demands (22.1%), and counseling/poor communication (21.7%). Events related to verbal abuse were reported among 95% of the participants. The prevalence of violence was significantly higher among hospital pharmacists, compared with those practicing in administration/regulatory, and in community pharmacies (chi-square=10.213 (2); p=0.006). Similarly, physical aggression was higher among hospital pharmacists (chi-square=10.646 (2), p = 0.005). Conclusions: The prevalence of occupational violence towards pharmacists practicing in Nigeria appeared to be high. Major factors associated with the violence were refusal to fulfil aggressors' demands and frustrations due to long waiting times at pharmacy. Recommended strategies to slowdown the incidences of violence were improved pharmacists' workforce, interprofessional harmony, and penalties against perpetrators. <![CDATA[Mandatory pharmacist-led education session for patients seeking medical cannabis]]> Objective: The primary objectives of this pre-post session study, was to evaluate the impact of a pharmacist-led education session on the perceived benefits and safety of cannabis among patients with chronic pain, as well as determine the influence of pharmacist education on the selection of safer cannabis products and dosage forms for medical use among patients. Methods: A retrospective analysis of completed pre-post session questionnaires was conducted among chronic pain patients attending a mandatory education session led by a pharmacist, prior to being authorized cannabis in clinic. All questionnaire data was analyzed using SPSS v. 25. Demographic and sample characteristics were reviewed using univariate analyses. Chi-Square tests were employed to determine if the group-based education significantly affected knowledge, perception of efficacy and safety of cannabis. Results: Of the 260 session participants, 203 completed pre-post session questionnaires. After the session, a majority of current cannabis users (33.8%) and cannabis naïve/past users (56.9%) reported they would use a low THC product in the future, and a majority of current users (54.5%) would use a high CBD product in the future. After education, participants were more likely to report cannabis as having the potential for addiction (chi-square =42.6, p &lt;0.0001) and harm (chi-square =34.0, p &lt;0.0001). Conclusions: Pharmacist counselling and education has the potential to influence patient selection and use of cannabis, from more harmful to safer products, as well as moderate the potential perceived benefits of use. <![CDATA[Dispensing of antibiotics in community pharmacy in Iraq: a qualitative study]]> Objective: This study aimed to understand the dispensing practice of antibiotics in community pharmacy in Iraq, in addition to explore the community pharmacists' perception about dispensing antibiotics without prescription. Methods: A qualitative design was conducted on community pharmacists in Baghdad, Iraq. Pharmacists were selected conveniently from different gender, age group, pharmacy type and years of experience. Face-to-face semi-structure interview was used with all the pharmacists to get in-depth understanding about their dispensing practice of antibiotics without prescription in community pharmacy. The data was coded and classified for thematic analysis. Results: This study found that dispensing of antibiotics without prescription was a common practice in community pharmacy. Pharmacists' perception towards dispensing antibiotics without prescription was associated with the medical condition, safety and efficacy of antibiotics, patients request antibiotics by name, emergency cases, regular customer, promotions from pharmaceutical companies, saving time and cost, brand medications, and poor healthcare services. In addition, there were inadequate knowledge about antibiotic resistance and lack of awareness about antibiotic stewardship leading to inappropriate dispensing practice. Conclusions: Community pharmacists have poor perception towards dispensing antibiotics without prescription. Educational interventions about antibiotics use focusing on community pharmacists are needed. This will help to optimize the practice of dispensing of antibiotics in the community. In addition, training programs about antibiotic resistance are important to enhance pharmacists' understanding about antibiotic stewardship. <![CDATA[Pharmacy professionals' preparedness to use Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) behaviors]]> Background: There is a need to train healthcare professionals to provide first aid to people experiencing a mental health crisis. Research testing the association between Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training and the use of MHFA behaviors could provide evidence of program effectiveness in the pharmacy setting. Objectives: The objectives of this study were to measure the preparedness of pharmacy professionals to function in a MHFA role, and compare preparedness and the use of MHFA behaviors based on demographic characteristics. Methods: Pharmacists and student pharmacists attended MHFA training under a multi-state pharmacy initiative in 2018. An anonymous electronic survey was administered to 227 participants using 4 contacts in May to June, 2019. The survey evaluated if participants had recommended MHFA to others, their preparedness to engage in MHFA behaviors (13 items), and their frequency of performing a set of MHFA behaviors (7 items). Descriptive statistics, bivariate analysis, and ANOVA were used to describe the sample and compare these variables across groups. Results: The analysis was based on 96 responses (42.3%). Almost all respondents (96%) had recommended MHFA training to others. Respondents reported that the training program prepared them to provide a range of MHFA behaviors for multiple mental health conditions, particularly for depression and anxiety. Participants most often reported asking about a distressed mood and listening non-judgmentally. Almost half of participants had asked someone if they were considering suicide and a similar percent had referred someone considering suicide to resources. Those reporting the highest levels of preparedness engaged in significantly more MHFA behaviors than those with lower levels of preparedness (p=0.017). Preparedness and use of MHFA behaviors were not significantly associated with respondent demographic characteristics. Conclusion: These data suggest that pharmacy professionals who had MHFA training felt prepared to engage in MHFA and many used behaviors like asking about suicide and making referrals since being trained in MHFA. Research is warranted to better understand what makes someone feel maximally prepared to use MHFA behaviors compared to lower feelings of preparedness. <![CDATA[Dispensing errors in community pharmacies in the United Arab Emirates: investigating incidence, types, severity, and causes]]> Background: Medication dispensing is a fundamental function of community pharmacies, and errors that occur during the dispensing process are a major threat to patient safety. However, to date there has been no national study of medication dispensing errors in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Objective: The study aimed to investigate the incidence, types, clinical significance, causes and predictors of medication dispensing errors. Methods: The study was conducted in randomly selected community pharmacies (n=350) across all regions of UAE over six months using a mixed-method approach, incorporating prospective disguised observation of dispensing errors and interviews with pharmacists regarding the causes of errors. A multidisciplinary committee, which included an otolaryngologist, a general practitioner and a clinical pharmacist, evaluated the severity of errors. SPSS (Version 26) was used for data analysis. Results: The overall rate of medication dispensing errors was 6.7% (n=30912/ 464222), of which 2.6% (n=12274/464222) were prescription-related errors and 4.1% (n= 18638/464222) pharmacist counselling errors. The most common type of prescription-related errors was wrong quantity (30.0%), whereas the most common pharmacist counselling error was wrong drug (32.1%). The majority of errors were caused by medicine replaced with near expire one (24.7%) followed by look-alike/sound-alike drugs (22.3%). The majority of errors were moderate (46.8%) and minor (44.5%); 8.7% were serious errors. Predictors of medication dispensing errors were: grade A pharmacies (dispensing ≥ 60 prescriptions a day (OR 2.1; 95%CI 1.4-3.6; p=0.03) and prescriptions containing ≥4 medication orders (OR 2.5; 95%CI 1.7-4.3; p=0.01). Conclusions: Medication dispensing errors are common in the UAE and our findings can be generalised and considered as a reference to launch training programmes on safe medication dispensing practice. <![CDATA[A key performance indicators redefinition initiative at a school of pharmacy using a modified Delphi consensus technique]]> Objective: The Outcomes and Assessment Committee at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Pharmacy was tasked with refining the school's key performance indicators (KPIs) to improve programmatic assessment by focusing on the most important measures. Methods: Initially, 56 KPIs were tracked, nine of which were university mandated, divided into 10 modules: admissions, community outreach, continuing education, diversity, faculty experience and success, fundraising, graduate program, research and scholarship, staff experience and success, and student experience and success. Using a three-round Delphi consensus technique, KPIs were reviewed by faculty and staff. Each participant responded whether they considered each KPI to be essential or not essential for school quality assessment and improvement. Consensus for the first, second, and third rounds was defined as ≥90%, ≥80%, and ≥75% agreement, respectively. Results: Of 109 faculty and staff invited, 49 participated in the first round, 51 in the second, and 42 in the third. At the end of the third round, accumulated consensus was achieved for 35 out of 88 (39.8%) KPIs that were considered essential and 3 out of 88 (3.4%) that were considered non-essential. Consensus percentage per module was: 15.4% (2/13) admissions, 28.6% (2/7) community outreach, 33.3% (3/9) continuing education, 27.3% (3/11) diversity, 62.5% (5/8) faculty experience and success, 55.6% (5/9) fundraising, 40% (4/10) graduate program, 33.3% (3/9) research and scholarship, 57.1% (4/7) staff experience and success, and 66.7% (4/6) student experience and success. Conclusions: Ultimately, 35 KPIs achieved consensus as essential to measure achievement of benchmarks for the school, which totals 44 KPIs, including nine university mandated KPIs. The process facilitated faculty and staff involvement in KPI selection and achieved improved focus for programmatic assessment. <![CDATA[Clinical pharmacy services in Brazil, particularly cardiometabolic diseases: a systematic scoping review and meta-analyses]]> Objective: To map the clinical pharmacy services conducted in Brazil, their characteristics, outcomes, and process measures in general population, as well as the assessment of the clinical impact on people with cardiometabolic diseases (cardiovascular diseases and metabolic diseases). Methods: A systematic scoping review and meta-analysis were conducted. The electronic searches were re-run in March 2020. To the clinical impact assessment, meta-analyses of cardiometabolic outcomes (i.e., change of systolic (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP), triglycerides, total cholesterol, glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), fasting glycemia, LDL-, and HDL-cholesterol) were led. The risk of bias was assessed with the Cochrane Collaboration tools. Results: 71 studies were identified (7,402 patients), being the majority quasi-experimental studies (n=41) and published by research groups of Southeast Brazil (n=33). Medication therapy management (n=62) was the most frequent clinical pharmacy service, performed on outpatient setting (n=45), with adults or elderly people (n=58) with hypertension (n=18) or diabetes (n=10). Process measures (n=58) (e.g. resolution of drug related-problem) were widely used as indicator, followed by clinical (n=44) (e.g. change in SBP), humanistic (n=12) (e.g. change in quality-of-life score assessed by Short-Form 36 Health Survey Questionnaire), and economic outcomes (n=3) (incremental cost-effectiveness ratio for reduction in HbA1c). Regarding the assessment of clinical impact of the services, 20 studies were included in meta-analyses, showing improvement in most cardiometabolic outcomes when considered individual studies. However, the evidence presents high risk of bias, high heterogeneity (median 67-90%) and imprecision, contributing to wide prediction intervals and low reliability. Conclusions: A predominance of studies on cardiometabolic diseases, process measures, and clinical outcomes were identified. Considering the assessment of the clinical impact of clinical pharmacy services in cardiometabolic diseases, an improvement in most cardiometabolic outcomes was showed, however, with low confidence and wide prediction interval. Therefore, development of larger studies with low risk of bias and major homogeneity is necessary for a better comprehension of clinical pharmacy service characteristics, benefits, and the population groups most benefited. <![CDATA[Clinical impact of a pharmacist-led medication review with follow up for aged polypharmacy patients: a cluster randomized controlled trial]]> Background: Medication review with follow-up (MRF) is a service where community pharmacists undertake a medication review with monthly follow-up to provide continuing care. The ConSIGUE Program assessed the impact and implementation of MRF for aged polypharmacy patients in Spanish Community Pharmacies. The present paper reports on the clinical impact evaluation phase of ConSIGUE. Objective: The main objective of the study was to measure the effect of MRF on the primary outcome of the number of uncontrolled health problems. Secondary objectives were to analyze the drug-related problems (DRPs) identified as potential causes of ineffective or unsafe medications and the pharmacists' interventions implemented during MRF provision. Methods: An open-label multi-centered cluster randomized study with comparison group (CG) was carried out in community pharmacies from 4 provinces in Spain during 6 months. The main inclusion criteria were patients over 64 years old, using 5 or more medicines. The intervention group (IG) received the MRF service (advanced medication review-type 3 MR) whereas patients in the CG received usual care. Results: 178 pharmacies recruited 1403 patients (IG= 688 patients; CG= 715 patients). During the 6 months of the study 72 patients were lost to follow up. The adjusted multi-level random effects models showed a significant reduction in the number of uncontrolled health problems over the periods in the IG (-0.72, 95% CI: -0.80, -0.65) and no change in the CG (-0.03, 95% CI: -0.10, 0.04). Main DRPs identified as potential causes of failures of uncontrolled health problems' treatment were undertreated condition (559 DRPs; 35.81%), lack of treatment adherence (261 DRP; 16.67%) and risk of adverse effects (207 DRPs; 13.53%). Interventions performed by pharmacist to solve DRP mainly included the addition (246 interventions; 14.67%) and change (330 interventions; 19.68%) of a medicine and educational interventions on medicine adherence (231 interventions; 13.78%) and non-pharmacological interventions (369 interventions; 22.01%). Conclusions: This study provides evidence of the impact of community pharmacist on clinical outcomes for aged patients. It suggests that the provision of an MRF in collaboration with general medical practitioners and patients contributes to the improvement of aged polypharmacy patients' health status and reduces their problems related with the use of medicines. <![CDATA[Development of pharmacy competency framework for the changing demands of Thailand's pharmaceutical and health services]]> Background: In Thailand, pharmacists are responsible for all activities to ensure access to medicines throughout pharmaceutical supply chain. Competency framework (CF) is an important guidance for professional development and workforce planning. Objective: This study aimed to explore needs for pharmacy services in pharmaceutical supply chain and competencies of pharmacists to serve those needs. It was the first step for developing evidence-based pharmacy CF within the context of Thailand in 2026. Methods: A qualitative method using in-depth interviews to gain rich data from practitioners and leaders in all area of practices. 99 key informants from 56 workplaces in Thailand were interviewed during January and March 2016. Data was transcribed verbatim, and thematic analysis was used. Competencies were extracted, followed by several rounds of group discussion among team members to develop an initial framework. The competencies and CF were presented, and recommendations were gained from professional leaders for refining the findings. Results: The key informants agreed that pharmacist's works and responsibilities have gradually been drifted to support changes in healthcare and pharmaceutical systems. The upcoming pharmaceutical services call for higher standards of practice, larger number of personnel, and skillful pharmacists who have strong foundation in pharmaceutical knowledge as well as an ability to integrate knowledge into practices. Two sets of CFs were established. The general CF comprises five core domains: product focus, patient focus, healthcare system focus, community focus, and personal focus for self-improvement. These general competencies allow practitioners to perform basic professional tasks, including providing information, dispensing, and compounding. The service-specific competency is the integration of general competencies tailored into specific area of practice. Conclusions: Regarding the professional goal to evolve pharmacists from generalists to specialists for providing higher quality of professional services, the pharmacists are required to demonstrate general competencies and service-specific competencies. The findings serve as the need-based evidence for developing a national CF for pharmacists in Thailand. <![CDATA[Primary health care policy and vision for community pharmacy and pharmacists in Colombia]]> Colombia is a decentralized republic with a population of 50 million, constituted by 32 departments (territorial units) and 1,204 municipalities. The health system provides universal coverage and equal access to health care services to 95% of the population. Primary health care is seen as a practical approach that guarantees the health and well-being of whole-of-society. The National Pharmaceutical Policy (NPP, 2012) goal is "to develop strategies that enable the Colombian population equitable access to effective medicines, through quality pharmaceutical services (PS)". There are 4,351 providers certified to deliver PS: 3,699 (85%) ambulatory and 652 (15%) hospital care. The goals for PS are: a) promoting healthy lifestyles; b) preventing risk factors arising from medication errors; c) promoting rational use of medicines; and d) implementing Pharmaceutical Care. There are a number of ways that ambulatory patients access medications: through intermediary private companies, public and private hospitals pharmacies, and retail establishments (drugstores and pharmacies). Intermediary private companies are similar to Pharmaceutical Benefits Management in the U.S. health system, and act as intermediaries between health insurers, pharmaceutical laboratories, and patients. Pharmacists are being employed by these companies and in health insurance companies managing, auditing and delivering rational use of medicines programs. In 2014 there were approximately 20,000 pharmacies and drugstores, (private establishments) where a significant number of prescription-only medicines are sold without medical prescription. Colombian laws allow personal without pharmacy education to be a "director" in these establishments, so the training and education of persons working in drugstores and pharmacies is an important challenge. There about 8,000 registered pharmaceutical chemists with 25% to 30% working in patient care. Since the 90's, there are more favorable conditions for pharmacist's participation and contribution to health system and patient's health outcome. These environmental facilitators include: a) laws and regulations regarding pharmaceutical services (2005-2007), b) establishment of a NPP (2012), and c) opportunities associated with the consolidation of private health management companies providing health services with an interest in pharmaceutical services (since 1995). Finally, telepharmacy, comprehensive care routes for pharmaceutical services, and further strengthen of postgraduate training in pharmacy practice are future strategies to improve the pharmacy profession in Colombia. They provide an opportunity to influence the recognition and value of the pharmacist as the health care professional. <![CDATA[Community pharmacists' evolving role in Canadian primary health care: a vision of harmonization in a patchwork system]]> Canada's universal public health care system provides physician, diagnostic, and hospital services at no cost to all Canadians, accounting for approximately 70% of the 264 billion CAD spent in health expenditure yearly. Pharmacy-related services, including prescription drugs, however, are not universally publicly insured. Although this system underpins the Canadian identity, primary health care reform has long been desired by Canadians wanting better access to high quality, effective, patient-centred, and safe primary care services. A nationally coordinated approach to remodel the primary health care system was incited at the turn of the 21st century yet, twenty years later, evidence of widespread meaningful improvement remains underwhelming. As a provincial/territorial responsibility, the organization and provision of primary care remains discordant across the country. Canadian pharmacists are, now more than ever, poised and primed to provide care integrated with the rest of the primary health care system. However, the self-regulation of the profession of pharmacy is also a provincial/territorial mandate, making progress toward integration of pharmacists into the primary care system incongruent across jurisdictions. Among 11,000 pharmacies, Canada's 28,000 community pharmacists possess varying authority to prescribe, administer, and monitor drug therapies as an extension to their traditional dispensing role. Expanded professional services offered at most community pharmacies include medication reviews, minor/common ailment management, pharmacist prescribing for existing prescriptions, smoking cessation counselling, and administration of injectable drugs and vaccinations. Barriers to widely offering these services include uncertainties around remuneration, perceived skepticism from other providers about pharmacists' skills, and slow digital modernization including limited access by pharmacists to patient health records held by other professionals. Each province/territory enables pharmacists to offer these services under specific legislation, practice standards, and remuneration models unique to their jurisdiction. There is also a small, but growing, number of pharmacists across the country working within interdisciplinary primary care teams. To achieve meaningful, consistent, and seamless integration into the interdisciplinary model of Canadian primary health care reform, pharmacy advocacy groups across the country must coordinate and collaborate on a harmonized vision for innovation in primary care integration, and move toward implementing that vision with ongoing collaboration on primary health care initiatives, strategic plans, and policies. Canadians deserve to receive timely, equitable, and safe interdisciplinary care within a coordinated primary health care system, including from their pharmacy team. <![CDATA[Integration of Community pharmacy and pharmacists in primary health care policies in Argentina]]> Argentina is a federal republic with approximately 44 million people, divided into 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires. The health system is segmented into public, social security and private subsystems. The social security and private sectors cover more than 60% of the population. Total health expenditure in 2017 was 9.4% of gross domestic product. Primary health care (PHC) was considered as the principal strategy for universal coverage policy for health system reform in Latin America at the end of 20th century. The most remarkable characteristics of the Argentinian health system are its fragmentation and disorganization. An increase of public sector demands, due to a socioeconomic crisis, led to the subsequent collapse of the system, caused primarily by a sustained lack of investment. First care level decentralization to the Integral Health Service Delivery Networks (IHSDN) becomes the cornerstone of a PHC-based system. Pharmacists and community pharmacies are not formally mentioned in PHC policies or IHSDN. However, pharmacies are recognized as healthcare establishments as part of the first care level. Community pharmacists are the only health care professional whose profit comes from the margin on product sales. Contracts with social security and private insurances provide small margins which reduce the viability of community pharmacies. There is a preference by community pharmacies to diversify product sales instead of providing professional services. This is driven by marketing and economic pressures rather than patient care and health policies. Dispensing is the main professional activity followed by management of minor illness and associated product recommendations. Currently, there are no national practice guidelines or standard operating procedures for the provision of pharmaceutical services and there is no nationally agreed portfolio of services. National pharmacy organizations appear to have no official strategic statements or plans which would guide community pharmacies. There are some isolated experiences in community pharmacies and in public first care level pharmacies that demonstrate the possibilities and opportunities for implementing pharmaceutical services under the PHC approach. There is a real lack of integration of community pharmacies and pharmacists in the healthcare system. <![CDATA[Preceptor tips for navigating generational differences with introductory and advanced pharmacy practice experience students]]> Ideally, precepting during introductory and advanced pharmacy practice experiences should be tailored to meet the individualized needs of learners. Understanding generational similarities and differences that exist between both learners and educators will facilitate meaningful interaction and improve learning outcomes. A common pitfall among preceptors is to judge the values of their pharmacy learners based on the stereotypes of the generations. This tends to be more evident when the preceptor's generation differs from the generation of the learner. The following article describes generational attributes that influence experiential learning with general tips for how preceptors can use this information to enhance their interactions with learners. By comparing and contrasting the predominant generations in the current pharmacy education landscape (Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials), the article will demonstrate how multi-generational interactions impact pharmacy education. As Millennials are the majority of experiential learners, the focus will be on their learning preferences and how preceptors can help engage these learners. Practical advice and tools on engaging Millennial learners will be reviewed. Case vignettes will demonstrate how to identify ways to tailor precepting to meet the needs of the learner, avoid common pitfalls, facilitate meaningful interaction, and, ultimately, improve learning outcomes. <![CDATA[Primary health care policy and vision for community pharmacy and pharmacists in Jordan]]> Jordan is considered a low middle-income country with a population of 9.956 million in 2018. It is considered the training center for healthcare professions in the region, as the Jordanian healthcare sector has seen remarkable development. In 2017, the expenditure on health as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was estimated to be around 8%. The healthcare sector is divided into two main sectors; the public and the private sector with both including hospitals, primary care clinics and pharmacies. The Jordanian government has a strong commitment to health and educational programs; hence, an increase in the number of pharmacy schools and pharmacy graduates has occurred in the past few years. Health authorities, such as the Jordan Food and Drug Association (JFDA) and the Jordan Pharmaceutical Association (JPA) have played an important role in ensuring the availability and affordability of medications, and has influenced the practice of pharmacists. Protecting the pharmaceutical market and professional interests, preserving pharmacists' rights, building needed cooperation with the internal federation, and maintaining professional ethics are some of the objectives for the JPA. Hence, the integration of community pharmacists into the primary healthcare system is considered vital to the different health authorities in Jordan, emphasizing the fact that community pharmacists are the most trusted, accessible, and affordable healthcare providers in the country. There have been many developments in the pharmacy practice in the past recent years, including the establishment of ‘Good Pharmacy Practice', new curricular development based on the international accreditation (the ACPE), a new immunization program, and health services research aimed to save patients' lives, influence expenses, and improve patients' quality of life. Although these developments in pharmacy practice are promising, challenges continue to exist, specifically the establishment of an evidence base for pharmaceutical care services such as the medication management review service. <![CDATA[Primary Health Care and Community Pharmacy in Ireland: a lot of visions but little progress]]> Ireland is small country with a population of 4.8M which spent 6.9% of its gross domestic product on healthcare in 2018. Health services are provided through a twin track approach - all public services are largely free to those eligible (32.44% in 2019) and private patients pay for most services. Most of the expenditure on medicines is paid by the government while visits to General Practitioners (GPs) are an out-of-pocket expense for private patients under 70 years of age, and private health insurance provides cover for most hospital services. Healthcare professionals in the primary care sector contract to provide public services with the Health Services Executive (HSE) which is responsible for the day-to-day running of the service. Primary care teams began to be formed in 2001 to try to link and integrate the provision of care but since these are led by GPs neither community pharmacists nor dentists joined these teams. The focus of policy remained the primary care team until a proposal to create a public health service to provide universal health coverage called Sláintecare was agreed in 2017. However, implementation of Sláintecare has been slow and piecemeal. The government regularly devises policies to control prescribing and the HSE, together with other regulators has implemented generic substitution and preferred drugs and limited access to expensive drugs through schemes for particular patient groups. A programme called Healthy Ireland has taken on the health promotion policies but pharmacists have been excluded from most programmes although some campaigns have included them. Community pharmacy organisations have tried to develop pharmacy services and while a few which are targeted at specified patient groups, such as opioid substitution, emergency administration of certain drugs, emergency hormonal contraception and seasonal influenza vaccination have been remunerated for public patients by the HSE, other services have not. GP organisations defend their members' scope of practice and seek to influence policy makers to channel schemes and services through general practice. There is no professional body to represent pharmacists that is independent of any trade union responsibilities and this has weakened the profession's advocacy. Pharmacists are one of the most trusted group of professionals in Ireland and have maintained their practices throughout periods of recession and declining income from government. Whether pharmacists can argue that the optimisation of a patient's medicines depends upon their contribution and will benefit the health service remains an open question. <![CDATA[Ensuring intervention success: assessing fit as an overlooked step of the implementation process]]> Ensuring fit between a service and the implementing context is a critical but often overlooked precursor of implementation success. This commentary proposes five key considerations that should be evaluated when exploring fit: alignment with needs and metrics; alignment with organizational resources and capabilities; alignment with organizational priorities and culture; alignment with reimbursement mechanisms for long-term sustainability; and alignment with the regulatory environment. Successful uptake and implementation hinges on careful planning and, most importantly, appropriate fit between the service and the implementing environment. <![CDATA[Alternative payment approaches for advancing comprehensive medication management in primary care]]> The increasing prevalence of complex, chronic conditions has profound implications on the growing demand and cost of health care. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation is testing data-driven approaches to care delivery and payment that are drawn from innovative practices of health care providers and other partners in the health care community. The shift from fee-for-service to value-based care and performance-based payment places increased priority on improved outcomes at lower costs. To advance comprehensive medication management, pharmacists need to understand the opportunities in the evolving value-based payment models and align medication optimization with the specific goals and incentives of these models.