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Unlicensed “special” medicines: understanding the community pharmacist perspective

Wale, Alesha, Ireland, Mark, Yemm, Rowan, Hiom, Sarah, Jones, Alison, Spark, John Paul, Francis, Mark, May, Karen, Allen, Louise, Ridd, Steve and Mantzourani, Efi 2020. Unlicensed “special” medicines: understanding the community pharmacist perspective. Integrated Pharmacy Research and Practice 2020 (9) , pp. 93-104. 10.2147/IPRP.S263970

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Abstract

Objective: Community pharmacy staff are responsible for obtaining and supplying unlicensed “special” medicines to patients in primary care. Less well-defined parameters for safe and effective use of unlicensed compared to licensed medicines, along with issues around maintaining consistency between care settings or among manufacturers, have been associated with increased risks. This study aimed to explore the views and experiences of community pharmacy staff on accessing and supplying unlicensed “special” medicines to patients in Wales and the perceived impact of challenges faced on patient care.Methods: A qualitative, phenomenological approach was employed, involving semi-structured interviews with pharmacists and pharmacy technicians working at one small chain of community pharmacies in Wales. The interview schedule focused on the personal experiences and perceptions of the participants on the processes involved in accessing and supplying unlicensed “special” medicines from a community pharmacy. Interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim.Results: A total of six participants completed the interview. Three main themes were constructed from inductive thematic analysis of the transcribed interviews: requirement for additional patient responsibilities; influences on the confidence felt by pharmacy staff when accessing and supplying unlicensed “special” medicines; and continuity of supply.Conclusion: This study gives a preliminary insight into the views and experiences of community pharmacy staff in Wales when accessing and supplying unlicensed “special” medicines. Further research is required to see if these views and experiences are representative of community pharmacy staff across the country.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Pharmacy
Publisher: Dove Medical Press
ISSN: 2230-5254
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 18 August 2020
Date of Acceptance: 16 July 2020
Last Modified: 19 Aug 2020 13:15
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/134267

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