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Title : DRUG INFORMATION IN COMMUNITY PHARMACY AND OUTPATIENT PHARMACY IN AL AIN CITY, U.A.E.: A DESCRIPTIVE STUDY
Authors : *Moawia M Al-Tabakha, Lama H Akoulah and Khairi M Fahelelbom
Abstract : The purpose of this study was to find out if the pharmacists working in community pharmacy and outpatient pharmacy have undergone any formal education regarding drug information, and to describe the drug information resources available, utilization of Internet as drug information resource and whether the available resources are sufficient to answer the types of questions received from the patients. After a pilot study, self administered eleven-question survey, open and close-ended, was distributed by a personal visit to a total of 40 pharmacies located in Al Ain city, UAE. Only one pharmacist of each visited pharmacies was eligible to complete the survey if he/she was licensed and have at least one year of experience at the same site. About 40% of the surveyed pharmacists did not have drug information resources as a course or topic in their formal education. In the pharmacies, all had the &ldquo;British National Formulary&rdquo;, followed by the &quot;Drug Information Handbook&quot;. Tertiary hospital outpatient pharmacy contained generally greater variety of drug information tertiary resources. About one third of the time spent surfing the internet was allocated for drug information. More than half of the surveyed pharmacists (55.6%) used the internet for at least 1 hour to obtain drug information. Drug safety in pregnancy and lactation was among the most frequently received questions (19.5%). The most difficult question the pharmacists received was related to the foreign drugs not available in UAE. There is a need to include a course &quot;Drug Information Resources&quot; in modern pharmacy program syllabi and to have online access to a reliable online database in the community pharmacy in order to allow the pharmacist to adequately provide accurate drug information. <br />

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