Objective: The purpose of this survey was to identify the roles, organizational structure, responsibilities, recruitment, skills, performance indicators and future trends of Medical Science Liaisons (MSLs). In addition, we compared the trend of changes with past surveys.
Method: We contacted 52 pharmaceutical companies with a questionnaire survey on MSLs which included 28 items and analyzed the anonymized results using a web response system in Japan.
Results: Responses were received from 40 companies (76.9%). The range of MSLs in each company was 0 to 80, the average number for companies withone or more MSLs was 23.6 (median was 13.0). Except for one company, the definition of “MSL” was generally the same. Except for one company, MSLs operated independently of the sales promotion activities. One MSL was responsible for an average of 21 Key Opinion Leader/Key Thought Leaders (KOL/KTL). The key performance indicators (KPI) for MSL activities mainly focused on quantitative indicators such as the number of information collections from KOL/KTL. On the other hand, qualitative indicators were also incorporated suchas feedback from KOL/KTL. “Knowledge of clinical medicine” and “Communication skills” were necessary skills for all companies. 41.9% of companies had an in-house certification program. Some companies will retain and/or decrease the number of MSLs in the future. MSLs were required to have advanced medical expertise as well as medical professional qualifications, and it was confirmed that there are various options for career plans such as MA, R&D, and promotional departments. No matter what the MSL’s therapeutic area (TA), many companies had high expectations for their activities.
Conclusion: The current status of expected mission and responsiblities, KPI, size and career plans for MSL were revealed. Companies want MSL’s to play a central role in the inplementation of medical strategies and contribute to internal and external stakeholders.
Objective: In this study, we aimed to develop a new system that can centrally manage and share drug information, and also evaluated its usefulness.
Methods: Using PHP v5.3.3 as the programming language and MySQL v5.1.73 as the database, we built a web application that constantly runs on the server. Various drug information was registered in this system, and its usage status was analyzed based on the access log.
Results: The system was accessed 31,678 times during the survey period (October 1 to December 31, 2019). The information sought included: basic drug information (ordering category of drugs, dosage forms and strengths, drug price, etc.) (13,962 times, 44.1%),question and answer records (7,221 times, 22.8%), pharmaceutical documents (package inserts, interview forms, documents regarding compatibility of injections, etc.) (7,172 times, 22.6%), notifications regarding new and discontinued drugs (727 times, 2.3%), websites (676 times, 2.1%), PreAVOID reports (663 times, 2.1%), pharmaceutical safety information (525 times, 1.7%), information regarding off-label drug use (409 times, 1.3%), and bibliographic information and guidelines (323 times, 1.0%). Among the users (62 pharmacists), 59.7% accessed the system only via a personal computer (PC), 38.7% via a PC and smart device (smartphone or tablet),and 1.6% via only a smart device. The median number of accesses to this system was significantly higher in pharmacists in charge of wards (190 [9-1,435]) or drug information (3,750 [2,957-5,548]) than dispensing pharmacists (68.5 [3-193]) (p＜0.001).
Conclusion: This system allowed the central management and sharing of various drug information on the web, permitting access regardless of device type. Since this system was frequently used by pharmacists in charge of wards or drug information, this system was considered particularly useful in hospital pharmacist ward services and drug information services.
Objective: Basic communication skills are essential in all health personnel, including pharmacists. All junior pharmacists at Kurashiki Central Hospital undergo communication training, which is given by a clinical psychologist. In order to evaluate the outcomes of this training, we analyzed self-evaluation data for changes in professional communication skills, awareness and behavior before and after training.
Methods: Training consisted of a lecture on communication skills with patients by a clinical psychologist and consequent role-play activities using a script. We conducted a self-evaluation questionnaire of pharmacist-patient interactions before and after training,from which we analyzed changes in self-evaluation. Each participant rated their own communication skills from 1 to 10 and both professional awareness and behavior from 1 to 5.
Results: There was a statistically significant improvement in the mean rating for communication skills 3 months (6.47±1.23) and 9 months (6.68±1.08) after training compared to the same ratings before (4.85±1.49) and 1 month (5.45±1.60) after training (p＜0.01). Participants reported that lecture topics on silence, blank facial expressions, and lack of empathy to patients were particularily useful in improving their professional awareness skillset.
Conclusion: Our study showed that the training enabled participants to extend their empathy and better estimate the personal feelings of patients. Communication skills training by a clinical psychologist seems especially useful for improving the basic communication skills in the pharmacist.
Objectives: “Adverse Drug Reaction Relief System” (hereinafter called the Relief System) has been established to provide prompt relief to patients experiencing health damage caused by adverse drug reactions. Since 2018, the Relief System has required community pharmacies that acquire additional points as local support system to actively report adverse drug reactions. Here, we investigated the recognition and utilization of the relief system among community pharmacists.
Method: A questionnaire survey was conducted among community pharmacists between August 1 and September 30, 2019.
Results: The survey achieved a response rate of 58.1%. The recognition rates of the relief system and Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency (PMDA) as its application destination were 98.9 and 74.5%, respectively. Of the community pharmacists, 2.6% had experience in utilizing the relief system; and 8.8% did not want to recommend the utilization of the relief system for patients mainly because of the “low recognition of the system” and “the complicated and troublesome preparation of the necessary documents such as medical certificates.” The community pharmacists who acquire additional points as local support system, compared with those who do not, achieved significantly higher rates in two items, including that for preparation of the documented procedures pertaining to adverse drug reactions.
Conclusion: Despite the high recognition of the relief system among community pharmacists, the percentage of pharmacists with experience in actually utilizing the relief system and applying to the PMDA was low. One reason that the use of the relief system was not widespread was the low recognition particularly of the destination and procedures of reports on adverse drug reactions. In the future, educational campaigns to improve pharmacists’ comprehension of the relief system will be needed. Moreover, pharmacists must play a central role in enhancing the recognition of the public relief system and promoting medical safety.
Objective: In order to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of pharmacotherapy and maximize the benefit/risk ratio, patient follow-up after medication is imperative. Such follow-up includes medical adherence, drug efficacy, early detection and treatment of adverse events. All pharmacy pharmacists should, at their service counter, select and correctly identify the most noticeable symptoms of adverse drug reactions for the patient, especially with their other roles and responsibilities. Thus, we evaluated the usefulness of M*Adhere SPEHEC® in pharmaceutical management.
Methods: During the month of April 2019, 21 pharmacists at six pharmacies responded to the survey.
Results: Of 21 pharmacists, 18 (85.7%) stated that the efficiency and/or quality of pharmacotherapy management had improved. The system enabled evidence-based identification of drug adverse event symptoms, and the time for pharmaceutical care was reduced by an average of 2 min.
Conclusion: Based on these results, M*Adhere SPEHEC® was confirmed to be highly useful in improving the efficiency and quality of pharmaceutical management for patient follow-up.