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Chapter 9: Evidence based pharmacy for developing countries
  1. Hao Lu1,
  2. Tommy Eriksson2,
  3. Phil Wiffen3
  1. 1Department of Pharmacy, Beijing United Family Hospital, Beijing, China
  2. 2Department of Clinical Pharmacology, Laboratory Medicine, Lund University, Lund, Sweden
  3. 3Pain Research Unit, Churchill Hospital, Oxford, UK
  1. Correspondence to H Lu, Department of Pharmacy, Beijing United Family Hospital, #2 Jiang Tai Road, Chaoyang, Beijing 100016, China; lu020202{at}hotmail.com

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About this chapter

At the time of writing, the healthcare industry in developing countries is rapidly catching up. While more new drugs and medical technologies are becoming available in these countries, the evidence supporting these healthcare interventions may be easily overlooked. The chapter starts with a description of a typical patient encounter in a developing country to set the context. The rest of the chapter aims to define the challenges faced in practising evidence based pharmacy in developing countries and proposes strategies to overcome these challenges. This chapter is aimed at pharmacy professionals in developing countries to steer their course. It may also help their counterparts in developed countries to gain a global perspective.

Evidence-based Pharmacy was first published as a textbook by Phil Wiffen in 2001. The first chapter was published in Eur J Hosp Pharm 2013;20:308–12. Other chapters have been published regularly.

A patient presents with a prescription for metronidazole 400 mg tablets three times daily for 7 days. The busy pharmacist quickly grabs the medication already prepared for the patient and gives it to the patient after calling the patient's name. The patient, with the medication in her hand, attempts to ask a question. The pharmacist quickly says ‘next’. Having seen the long queue of patients, the patient walks away. Then she opens the information leaflet accompanying the tablets. The leaflet says ‘pregnancy and breastfeeding: contraindicated’. She is now confused as she is 27 weeks’ pregnant. Should she take them or not? She goes back to the pharmacy looking for more information. There is a window marked ‘medication consultation’ with pharmacy staff and no one is queuing. The information she receives is the same as that on the information leaflet; she should not take this medication and is asked to go back and see her doctor. With her confusion and distrust in the …

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