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Chapter 8: Generating knowledge
  1. Tommy Eriksson1,
  2. Hao Lu2,
  3. Phil Wiffen3
  1. 1Department of Clinical Pharmacology, Laboratory Medicine, Lund University, Lund, Sweden
  2. 2Beijing United Family Hospital, Beijing, China
  3. 3Pain Research Unit, Churchill Hospital, Oxford, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Tommy Eriksson, Department of Clinical Pharmacology, Laboratory Medicine, Lund University, Lunds universitet box 188, Lund 221 00, Sweden; tommy.eriksson{at}

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About this chapter

Pharmacy services and practices are performed in several settings and situations and include mainly aspects of drug delivery and information, and communication with several professionals, patients and customers. The general aim must be to improve health and use of medications. For maintaining the current situation and for developing new professional practices and services the values have to be proven. In this chapter we describe the basic features for generating evidence based knowledge, current status and suggestions for improvement where each pharmacist can contribute.


The patient care process is very complicated and generates discrepancies and errors that to a large extent can be prevented and avoided. For a positive outcome of patient care we therefore need a systematic approach to patient care including structures and processes. In modern care we normally have good or excellent structures, including diagnostic tools, medications and educated professionals. The main problem is probably the delivery, the process of care including routines, information, communication, responsibilities etc. Donobedian1 has described this in detail and this platform can be used to improve the use of medicines. The pharmacist in community and hospital care, in or outside a pharmacy can be the driving force for developing evidence based services based on pharmacy practice research (PPR).

What is PPR?

Like medical care, nursing care, etc., pharmacy care and therefore PPR consists of core components: the philosophy and definitions, the patient care process, and the practical management system to support the practice. The most important terminology used is listed in box 1.

Box 1 Terminology used to describe pharmacy practices

Clinical pharmacy (CP) is a health specialty, which describes the activities and the services of the clinical pharmacist to develop and promote the rational and appropriate use of medicinal products and devices.2

Pharmaceutical care (PC) is the responsible provision of drug therapy …

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