Background Overdose of vitamin K antagonists (VKA) is the most common cause of iatrogenic adverse drug reactions in France. Since 2013, the French health authorities have asked retail pharmacists to conduct patient education sessions about VKA treatment.
Purpose To assess the operation of a new link between hospital pharmacists and retail pharmacists in order to improve patients’ knowledge of VKAs.
Material and methods A consultation focused on VKA treatment management was implemented in the cardiology unit. All patients treated with VKAs were invited to attend an information session (led by a nurse or a pharmacist). A patient information form (comorbidities, indication, initiation date, target INR values, caregiver) and a 10-item questionnaire on knowledge of their medicine (name of VKA and indication, monitoring, risk of overdose, daily management) were filled in after each consultation. Then, all this information were sent to the retail pharmacist by email/fax. After 1 month, this questionnaire was taken again during a consultation with the patient at the retail pharmacy. The questionnaires were then compared (before and after hospital discharge).
Results 11 patients were enrolled in this 2-month preliminary prospective study. 9 retail pharmacies agreed to participate. We received 7 complete answers from retail pharmacists. 4 patients’ knowledge of VKA treatment improved after the second consultation. How to deal with a missing dose and the importance of treatment monitoring were the 2 items least understood. Name of VKA, INR target values and time to take the drug were well understood. One of these 11 patients was hospitalised for drug overdose one week after hospital discharge.
Conclusion This first study is encouraging. To improve the follow-up of these patients, a link between pharmaceutical services and general practitioners should also be developed. More patients need to be enrolled to assess the efficiency of this collaboration in improving patient knowledge.
References and/or acknowledgements No conflict of interest
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