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  • Improving pharmacy practice in relation to complementary medicines: a qualitative study evaluating the acceptability and feasibility of a new ethical framework in Australia

    Amber Salman Popattia; Laetitia Hattingh; Adam La Caze (BMC, 2021-01-01)
    Abstract Background There is a need for clearer guidance for pharmacists regarding their responsibilities when selling complementary medicines. A recently published ethical framework provides guidance regarding the specific responsibilities that pharmacists need to meet in order to fulfil their professional obligations and make a positive contribution to health outcomes when selling complementary medicines. Objective Evaluate the acceptability and feasibility of a new ethical framework for the sale of complementary medicines in community pharmacy. Methods Australian community pharmacists were invited to participate in online focus groups and interviews. Participants were recruited via multiple methods, including social media and the professional networks of pharmacy groups. Participants were provided the ethical framework prior to the discussion. Discussions were transcribed verbatim and analysed using thematic analysis. Results Seventeen community pharmacists participated in the study (11 in 4 focus groups and 6 in individual interviews). There was good representation among participants in terms of gender, years of practice, pharmacy location and script volume. Participants differed in how proactive they were in relation to selling and providing advice on complementary medicines, how they interpreted evidence in relation to complementary medicines, and how they navigated their practice within the retail environment of community pharmacy. The majority of participants found the framework was acceptable for practice and was feasible for implementation with targeted support. Participants identified two important areas for targeted support in implementing the framework: improved access to evidence-based information resources on complementary medicines and independent evidence-based education and training on complementary medicine for pharmacists and pharmacy support staff. Conclusion The ethical framework addresses an important gap in providing specific professional guidance to pharmacists when selling complementary medicines. The results of the study suggest that the framework may be acceptable to community pharmacists and be feasible to implement with targeted support.
  • Women’s viewpoints on egg freezing in Austria: an online Q-methodology study

    Johanna Kostenzer; Antoinette De Bont; Job van Exel (BMC, 2021-01-01)
    Abstract Background Egg freezing has emerged as a technology of assisted reproductive medicine that allows women to plan for the anticipated loss of fertility and hence to preserve the option to conceive with their own eggs. The technology is surrounded by value-conflicts and is subject to ongoing discussions. This study aims at contributing to the empirical-ethical debate by exploring women’s viewpoints on egg freezing in Austria, where egg freezing for social reasons is currently not allowed. Methods Q-methodology was used to identify prevailing viewpoints on egg freezing. 46 female participants ranked a set of 40 statements onto a 9-column forced choice ranking grid according to the level of agreement. Participants were asked to explain their ranking in a follow-up survey. By-person factor analysis was used to identify distinct viewpoints which were interpreted using both the quantitative and the qualitative data. Results Three distinct viewpoints were identified: (1) “women should decide for themselves”, (2) “we should accept nature but change policy”, and (3) “we need an informed societal debate”. These viewpoints provide insights into how biomedical innovations such as egg freezing are perceived by women in Austria and illustrate the normative tensions regarding such innovations. Conclusions Acknowledging the different prioritizations of values regarding assisted reproductive technologies is important to better understand the underlying normative tensions in a country where egg freezing for social reasons is currently not allowed. The study adds new empirical insights to the ongoing debate by outlining and discussing viewpoints of those directly affected: women. Following up on the lay persons perspective is particularly important in the context of future biomedical innovations that may challenge established norms and create new tensions. It therefore also adds to the societal debate and supports evidence-informed policy making in that regard.
  • Perceptions of and barriers to ethical promotion of pharmaceuticals in Pakistan: perspectives of medical representatives and doctors

    Rehan Gul; Hamid Saeed; Zikria Saleem; Fawad Rasool; Furqan Kurshid Hashmi; Muhammad Islam; Imran Imran; Syed Atif Raza; Zeeshan Danish (BMC, 2021-01-01)
    Abstract Background In Pakistan, drug promotion practices, ethical or unethical, have rarely been in the spotlight. We aimed to assess the perception and barriers of medical representatives (MRs) and doctors (MDs) regarding ethical promotion of pharmaceuticals in Pakistan. Methods A cross sectional survey was conducted in seven major cities of Pakistan for 6-months period. Self-administered questionnaire was used for data collection. Logistic regression and five-point Likert scale scoring was used to estimate the perceptions and barriers. Results Compared to national companies (NCs), the medical representatives (MRs) of multinational companies (MNCs) strongly believed that their companies follow World Health Organization (WHO) (OR; 5.31, p = 0.0005), International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA) (OR; 6.45, p = 0.0005) and national codes of ethics (OR; 5.84, p = 0.0005). MNCs trained their MRs (OR; 6.68, p = 0.0005), provide accurate and valid scientific data (OR; 4.01, p = 0.007) with adequate system of accountability and controls on product samples (OR; 1.96, p = 0.047), while, NCs sponsor social or entertainment activities, seminars and conferences, and all sort of facilitation in form of gifts of their choice and clinic renovation for medical doctors (MDs). MDs perceptions were similar to MRs mentioned above, yet strongly agreed that companies offer cash payments or equivalents to MDs. The MRs of NCs/MNCs and MDs agreed/strongly agreed that no external accountability, profiteering, pressure on sale targets, job insecurity, condoning unethical promotion by high-ups’ and business promotion by junior MDs were the predominant barriers. Conclusion In conclusion, MRs of MNCs and MDs believed that MNCs follow certain codes of ethics in the promotion of pharmaceuticals, while NCs tend to be more profit oriented and even condone unethical promotion. All stakeholders, MRs, MDs and companies, might pose certain barriers, intentionally or unintentionally, in ethical promotion.
  • Lay persons’ perception of the requirements for research in emergency obstetric and newborn care

    Dan Kabonge Kaye (BMC, 2021-01-01)
    Abstract Background Factors that could potentially act as facilitators and barriers to successful recruitment strategies in perinatal clinical trials are not well documented. The objective was to assess lay persons’ understanding of the informed consent for randomized clinical trial in emergency obstetric and newborn care. Methods This was a qualitative study conducted among survivors of severe obstetric complications who were attending the post-natal clinic of Kawempe National Referral Hospital, Uganda, 6–8 weeks after surviving severe obstetric complications during pregnancy or childbirth. The study that involved 18 in-depth interviews was conducted from June 1, 2019 to July 6, 2019. The issues explored included perceptions of the purpose and necessity to conduct such research how research-related information would be disclosed, and what could be the potential benefits and risks of participation. The data was analyzed by thematic analysis. Results Respondents felt that research was necessary to investigate the cause, prevention or complications of an illness, especially as much was known about some pregnancy and newborn complications. Most believed that the emergency contexts affects whether and what prospective participants may understand if information about research was disclosed. Whereas they did not see the value of procedures like randomization, they felt that if these and any other procedures necessary should be done transparently and fairly. The decisions to participate would significantly be influenced by possibility of risk to the unborn baby or the newborn. Solidarity was an important influence on decision-making. Conclusions Respondents valued participation in RCTs in emergency obstetric and newborn care. However, they expressed concerns and valued openness, transparency and accountability with regard to how clinical trials information is disclosed and the decision-making process for clinical trial participation. While autonomy and solidarity are contradictory values, they complement each other during decision-making for informed consent.
  • Bioética y Veracidad

    Lolas Stepke,Fernando (Centro Interdisciplinario de Estudios en Bioética, Universidad de Chile, 2020-10-01)

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