Objectives: Many pharmaceutical companies provide information on prescription drugs on their websites. These websites are popular search tools for drug information for many reasons, including the availability of information at all times. However, there are various sources of confusion for users, such as the website content differing between companies. Therefore, to improve the usability of websites created by pharmaceutical companies, we investigated the expectations and perceptions of website users of current websites and presented our results to website users and developers. Design: A questionnaire survey. Methods: Website users were surveyed using a questionnaire developed based on data obtained from a preliminary survey of drug information pharmacists registered at the Japanese Society of Drug Informatics. Then, using data from the user survey, we conducted a survey of website developers for pharmaceutical companies. Results: When asked what makes the websites of pharmaceutical companies excellent, 55.7% of users responded “a website filled with information.” When asked how the website of pharmaceutical companies should be structured, the most common answer was “searchability and visibility” in responses in free-description format (25.3%) and was “inter-company consistency regarding types of drug information available as well as the process required for obtaining drug information” for responses in multiple-choice format (88.6%). When asked whether users were unable to obtain drug information when needed because user registration was required, 87.3% of the users replied affirmatively, although 47.1% responded that some content should require user registration. Of website developers, 46.9% collected and analyzed information about users’ website use. They also hoped to identify the users’ needs. Discussion: The findings suggest that the usability of websites could be improved by providing opportunities for website users and developers to exchange opinions and by standardizing the content of pharmaceutical company websites, including what information should require user registration.
Objective: To evaluate (1) a questionnaire for pharmacists on learning about drug information (DI) and using DI in practice, and (2) our DI seminar. Methods: (1) 72 hospitals and 105 community pharmacists in Miyagi, Japan were recruited. The questionnaire included items on DI activities and questions about topics that pharmacists “want to study.” (2) We held a seminar based on the questionnaire results and the reports of six pharmacists (one from a nonprofit corporation specializing in disseminating information on dietary supplements, one acute care pharmacist, two chronic and cancer hospital pharmacists, one community pharmacist, and one belonging to a community pharmacist association). At the end of the seminar, participants were asked to complete an evaluation questionnaire on the seminar. Results: (1) The DI activity “participate in scientific meetings and collect information” was associated with other DI activities among both hospital and community pharmacists. Multivariate analyses revealed that this DI activity was more strongly significantly associated with the topics “want to study techniques for presentation skills” (p<0.0001) and “want to study other DI practices” (p=0.008) than other DI activities. (2) Sixty seven participants attended the seminar. According to the evaluation questionnaire, the mean grade for the seminar was 80.5/100 points, and 96% of participants agreed with the “necessity of information sharing.” Conclusion: Participation in scientific meetings is important for pharmacists to develop their DI practice, and encourages information sharing between hospital and community pharmacists. Environments in which more pharmacists have opportunities to participate in scientific meetings and related seminars are needed.
Objective: The maintenance and improvement of medication adherence are important in psychiatry. In the case of patients using home healthcare services, it is necessary to improve their medication adherence through multi-professional collaboration. However, appropriate methods or measures to provide them with information regarding psychotropics and resolve their problems during home visits have yet to be clarified. We aimed to promote the appropriate provision of such information in home healthcare services for patients with mental disorders by clarifying the current status and details of information needed during home visits. Methods: A questionnaire survey was conducted in April 2016, involving healthcare professionals who worked in 9 facilities providing home-visit services for patients with mental disorders. Results: A total of 116 (86 females and 30 males) responded, among whom nurses accounted for the majority, at 81.9%, followed by psychiatric social workers, at 10.3%, and occupational therapists, at 7.8%. More than 97% of all respondents assessed medication adherence. Medication guidance tended to be provided within 15 minutes (81.9%) during each home visit, and the most frequent duration of such guidance was 6 to 10 minutes (37.9%). Patients most frequently asked about adverse drug effects (57.8%), and the health professionals most frequently faced difficulty answering such questions among all the questions asked (46.6%). Materials needed during home visits included: <brochures explaining the therapeutic and adverse effects of drugs>, <photographs of drugs>, and <a list of generic drugs>. Some respondents also noted the necessity of materials that are easy to carry. Conclusion: The results clarified the details of information to be provided on administering home healthcare services for patients with mental disorders. As various professionals are engaged in such services, and they are expected to have a certain level of ability to provide information, systems to effectively support information provision by them may be needed.
Objective: The clinical literature review is an important and required components in most of the US pharmacy school curriculum. On the other hand, in Japan, pharmacy students usually read basic literature when research assignments are given. However, in Japan, one is rarely taught how to critically read clinical literature in class. Therefore, for the purpose of examining whether or not lectures regarding how to critically read clinical literature will affect collecting new drug information in pharmacy practice, we examined a survey which we circulated in both countries. The survey asks pharmacists about reading clinical literature. Methods: One thousand nine hundred and ninety-seven pharmacists in Miyagi in Japan were given questionnaires by mail and 18,744 pharmacists in Florida in the US were given the URL of a web questionnaire by email. Results: Response rates in Miyagi and Florida were 30.3% and 0.91%, respectively. Since the response in Florida was so small, statistical analysis was not performed. Regarding the question of “Do you HABITUALLY read clinical literature ?,” “Yes” in Miyagi and Florida was 14.7% and 71.9%, respectively. Regarding the question of “To what extent did you learn how to critically read clinical literature when you were a student-pharmacist ? ” (1: Not at all, 7: Yes), medians in Miyagi and Florida were “1” and “5,” respectively. Regarding the question of “To what extent do you apply the information you obtain from clinical literature to your daily responsibilities ? ” (1: Not at all, 7: Yes), medians in Miyagi and Florida were “2” and “5,” respectively. Conclusions: We conclude that Japanese pharmacists in clinical practice do not sufficiently utilize drug information from new clinical literature because pharmacy education in Japan did not, until very recently at least, teach how to critically read clinical literature in class.
Objective: We analyzed the effects of the number of prescriptions on the number of drug stocks in community pharmacies by administering questionnaires to community pharmacies in Shiga Prefecture, Japan (N=159). Methords: We identified a significant positive correlation between drug stocks and their amount, and a significant negative correlation between inventory turnover and the concentration ratio of prescriptions issued by any medical institutions. Therefore, this implies that the amount of drug stocks influenced value, and a lower ratio of prescriptions issued by neighboring medical institutions increased inventory turnover. Furthermore, multi-regression analyses on the amount of drug stocks and the number of prescriptions from neighboring medical institutions and other medical institutions were performed. The results are as follows. Results: The number of stock drugs is much less influenced by the number of the prescription of vicinity medical institutions than the other medical institutions. On the other hands, the money amount of stock is more influenced by the number of the prescription of vicinity medical institutions than the other medical institutions. Conclusions: We thus identified the relation between the number of prescriptions from neighboring or other medical institutions and the number of drug stocks and their amount. These findings will be made available to community pharmacies that want to prescriptions issued by not only the neighboring medical institutions but others as well.
Limited available information suggests that some drugs prescribed to pregnant and nursing women may influence the development of the mammary gland and the function of milk production during pregnancy and lactation, resulting in disturbance of breastfeeding. The objective of the present study was to investigate the safety of these drugs, as well as to assess the presence of safety information regarding their effect on the fetus, the infant, mammary gland development and milk production, within the Ethical Drug Package Inserts (EDPI), the Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation (DPL), and the Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMed). Thirty-one drugs were prescribed to 24 pregnant women in Iwate Medical University Hospital. None of these drugs provided information on the safety of the fetus in the EDPI, while 22 drugs provided this information in the DPL. No information was provided in any of the 31 drugs regarding their influence on mammary gland development in the EDPI and DPL. Sixteen drugs were prescribed to 40 nursing women in Iwate Medical University Hospital. None of these drugs provided information regarding the safety of the infant in the EDPI, while this information was provided in the DPL of 10 drugs and in LactMed of 4 drugs, respectively. No information regarding the effects on milk production was provided in the EDPI of any of the 16 drugs, while this information was present in the DPL for one drug and in LactMed for 4 drugs. In conclusion, safety information of drugs about their potential adverse effects on the fetus and the infant, as well as on mammary gland development and milk production, should be included in multiple sources, including EDPI, DPL, and LactMed. Notably, very few sources provide information on the influence of drugs on mammary gland development and milk production and this information should be enriched in future.