Background Over the past 20 years in Russia functions of hospital pharmacies (HP) have significantly narrowed to only supplying drugs because of compounding departments closing and the lack of clinical training of hospital pharmacists (there is no specialisation in hospital pharmacy).
Purpose To analyse the everyday practice of hospital pharmacies in order to understand their key functions in hospitals and to find general problems in their pharmaceutical practice.
Materials and methods A systematic review has been conducted in conjunction with a questionnaire survey and in-depth interview of chief pharmacists in city clinical hospitals in Moscow.
Results In the period from May to October 2013 in Moscow there were 37 city clinical hospitals. All of the hospitals surveyed had a pharmacy in their structure. 32 HP (86%) had a compounding department, 4 of them prepared intravenous sterile solutions that are not commercially available. 67% of pharmacists noted that there is a tendency for doctors to prescribe fewer compounded drugs. Cytotoxic drugs and total parenteral nutrition were not prepared in the hospital pharmacies surveyed.
According to the results of a questionnaire survey the key functions of HP were:
– to supply drugs and to consult to doctors on availability of medicines in pharmacy;
– to introduce new drugs into the pharmacy and inform doctors of their properties.
All hospital pharmacists were responsible for the quality control of drugs.
Pharmacoeconomic research was only carried out by 25% of pharmacies.
71% of HP participated in the creation of the formulary system in each hospital. 21% took part in clinical trials held in the hospitals. All the pharmacies surveyed provided clinical services.
The survey showed that the basic needs of pharmacists in their practice are:
– to modernise policy (most of the orders and acts regulating the activities and the provision of HP were developed in the period from 1972 to 1987);
– to develop information resources for HP;
– to develop training courses focused on hospital pharmacists;
– to regularly supply pharmacies with modern compounding equipment;
– to increase the prestige of specialty and attract young pharmacists (58% of staff are in the 41–55 age range).
About 67% of pharmacists consider that HP practice standards (including compounding of drugs) are up to date.
Conclusions Our study identified the main directions of hospital pharmacy and the basic ways in which hospital pharmacy practice needs to develop if hospital pharmacists are to provide a modern service in Moscow.
No conflict of interest.