Tammy Lee, PharmD Candidate 2010
Dr. Sam Shimomura’s lecture on “Answering Drug Information Questions” on Wednesday August 17 2016 was informative. First, his lecture introduced drug information centers and the services they provide. Next, Dr. Sam talked about the systematic approach that every pharmacist employs when answering drug inquiries. This approach consists of several major steps, such as obtaining sufficient background information by identifying the requestor, searching the relevant data from appropriate sources, analyzing the data, and communicating the response to the needs of the requestor. This systematic approach is a useful guide for me in answering patients’ drug inquires in my future practice. Knowing these steps will help to ensure complete understanding of the inquiry and avoid giving false information. For example, I learned that it is important to gather enough patient-specific information to answer any drug inquiries. It is often easy to miss this step when a person quickly drops by a busy pharmacy and asks a seemingly short question. If a pharmacist answers it by assuming the person asking is the one taking the drug and does not seek further clarification of the patients’ background information, then the pharmacist is potentially giving out wrong drug information. This is the one thing I must keep in mind when I practice in the future.
Soufia Beshir, PharmD Candidate 2010
Drug information is provided anywhere pharmacy is practiced, from community pharmacies to hospital pharmacies. There is a wide scope of drug information that is provided on the internet as well as applications. Not all of the information someone finds is credible and accurate so being active in trying to find credible drug information is advised. Attending this seminar allowed me to understand how the process of giving out drug information works. The speaker, Dr. Shimomura, is very knowledgeable and emphasized the importance of taking precaution when answering drug questions. First, it is important to ask yourself a few questions to find out what you should focus on when answering a drug related question. Then, you have to interpret the information a patient gives you, find out what is relevant to them at that specific time, and from that you make your best judgment. I really enjoyed the seminar because it taught me how important it is to get to know your patient and understand their clinical situation before answering any questions and providing information.
Sayeh Behnia, PharmD Candidate 2020
The seminar was about answering drug information question. There are three questions that a pharmacist needs to consider all the time regarding drug question. First, determine what the question is and categorize it, second, identify who the patient is, and third, ask patient related background information. A pharmacist needs to keep that in mind as a background. If a patient asks one question pharmacist should ask them several other relevant questions before giving the medication. Pharmacist should ask who the medication belongs to, for example if it is for the patient or her/his baby. Then identify the patient’s gender, age, and weight. Finally, the pharmacist should follow up with the patient for the given information and find out if the medication works or not. Also providing answer at the level of patients’ understanding and education is critical. Every clinical situation and every patient is unique; there is a combination of age, disease, genetics and environment that should affect pharmacist’s judgment before dispensing the medication. There are many information in public which are not necessarily accurate. Pharmacist should not believe in whatever information read on the Internet. There is a course that students are required to take at WesternU, which is called Evidence Based Medicine, EBM. This course deals with how to analyze literature and statistics in order to either believe the study or not. Also, Dr. Sam talked about formulary, which is the list of the prescribed drug that pharmacist, medical and insurance companies have. Insurance companies only pay for these drugs. Efficacy is the first thing that is considered in the formulary drug along with the safety, and cost-effectiveness is all considered in formulary drug. In conclusion, I enjoyed this seminar. It opened my mind about the responsibilities and concerns that are in the scope of pharmacy practice. I learned the importance of asking relevant questions and considering the patient educational level while asking the questions.