Background The research hospital pharmacist is an important point of contact between clinical practice and the regular life of patients. The short distance that divides the clinic, site of experimentation, and the pharmacy, seems to constitute a moment of reflection for subjects; these patients ask the pharmacist after they have reflected on their doubts.
Purpose To investigate the patient’s doubts and queries.
Materials and methods During the course of the second term 2012 the questions asked by patients when samples of medicines were distributed were recorded and classified by topics.
Some of the questions were detailed and they needed research.
Results 25 people, among the 41 subjects who asked for more explanation, requested information about the way medicine should be administered (especially about the PEG-INTRON self-injector). The technique for using this was explained and patients were also given a leaflet about it. Almost everybody requested information about special precautions for taking the medicines, about taking them with a full or empty stomach. No one took any note of the time at which the medicine is administered, anyway it has been agreed to always give the medicine at the same time. 15% of the patients asked for more information about the trial design and the differences between the medicines administrated. Only 2 patients asked if they could know if they were given medicine or placebo. 2 patients (a man and a woman) asked about the possibility that the new medicine might alter their own sexual life.
A large proportion of patients have expressed their hope about the new treatment. One patient manifested a great sense of discomfort and fear. We proceeded to explain that the medicines used have already passed the toxic phases, and we reiterated the choice to continue or not on the trial.
Most patients also indicated that some capsules were not manufactured well, not indicated to the investigators. In this case we communicated this finding to the sponsor.
Conclusions The pharmacist is considered a point of contact for the patient who seeks out this professional as a ‘friendly’ interlocutor, a person of whom to ask information without being afraid of being judged and with the certainty that this person is readily available.
No conflict of interest.
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