The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2007 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

DO RETAIL PHARMACISTS TEACH CUSTOMERS RECEIVING FLUCTICASONE/SALMETEROL DRY POWDER INHALERS THE PROPER TECHNIQUE FOR OPTIMAL EFFECT?

B. Pruitt1, C. Hinson1, C. Smith1, T. Op't Holt, J. Adkins2

Background: The role of a retail pharmacist is much broader than just dispensing drugs. Some customers depend on their pharmacists to instruct them on how to take their medications. Inhaled medications often need even more specific and detailed instruction. Therefore pharmacists need to be knowledgeable in the administration of inhaled medications (as well as other medications).

Methods:
We composed a survey and distributed copies to local pharmacies to assess the pharmacists' role in customer education regarding the inhaled medication combination flucticasone/salmeterol delivered via DPI (F/S DPI) in the community pharmacy. The pharmacies were chosen at random from pharmacies in Mobile, Alabama. The survey asked the pharmacist which company they work for, how long they have been a practicing pharmacist, what degree they obtained, information regarding F/S DPI, and various questions regarding the administration of F/S DPI.

Results:
We distributed 50 surveys and had 25 completed giving us a return rate of 50%. Of the 25 returned, 72% stated that the pharmacists were very familiar with the indications, contraindications, hazards, and administration with the F/S DPI. 4% of the pharmacists provided education to customers on a daily basis, 16% educated customers several times a week, 24% educated customers several times a month, 48% rarely educated customers, and 8% relied on the prescribing physician or physician's staff for instruction. According to the pharmacists, 80% of the pharmacy parent companies always encouraged education for their customers. Time constraints were the biggest cause preventing education. 64% of the 25 pharmacists knew the correct instructions on administering F/S DPI.

Conclusions:
We found that pharmacists rarely educate customers on proper technique for administering F/S DPI, but only 64% would know the proper technique for administering F/S DPI if their customers were to ask. There needs to be more studies done involving retail customer education of F/S DPI and other inhaled medications to assess if they are getting proper education on administration.

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