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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2001  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 45-52

Continuing pharmaceutical education for community pharmacists in the eastern province of Saudi Arabia


College of Medicine, King Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Mastour S Al-Ghamdi
Department of Pharmacology, College of Medicine, King Faisal University, P.O. Box 2114, Dammam 31451
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


PMID: 23008650

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Background: Community pharmacists in Saudi Arabia very often make decisions that affect patient outcome. Previous studies have indicated that they have access to limited sources of information. Therefore, structured continuing phar­maceutical education (CPE) is necessary to improve their standards and attitudes. Aims: Identify the most important topics for CPE as well as the most significant barriers to conducting CPE successfully. Methods : A questionnaire was distributed to 120 pharmacists working in 88 community pharmacies in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. The survey contained five sections: general background, topics for CPE that could be of great interest to community pharmacists, possible obstacles to attending CPE, method of instruction, and the most suitable time and day of the week for conducting CPE. Results: One hundred and five (87.5%) pharmacists answered the survey questionnaire. The rank order of the five most selected topics for CPE were: drug interaction (81.9%), drug use during pregnancy (77.1%), use of anti-microbial agents (62.5%), pharmaceutical ethics (53.3%), geriatric and pediatric pharma­cology (45.7%). For pharmacists, the most important obstacles to attending CPE were lack of time (96.2%), distance from practice (74.2%), and lack of programs or infor­mation about these programs (54.3%). Interestingly, 47.6% of the pharmacists recom­mended credentialing CPE and stated that knowing the lecturer was not considered an important factor. Conclusion and recommendations: The findings of this study demonstrated that pharmacists are willing to participate in CPE programs. However, the working conditions of pharmacists would be a major barrier to their attendance. Therefore, improvement of the working conditions of community pharmacists, development of credited CPE programs in each region, as well as improving communication between the Saudi Pharmaceutical Association and community pharmacists are highly recommended.


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